Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said on Friday that efforts to get Iran to revisit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), suspended under the Trump administration in 2018, are ”not going well,” according to Fox News.
”We do not yet have a pathway back into the JCPOA,” Sullivan said regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. He added that ”some progress” was made over the last few days.
The White House has made it a top priority to bring Iran back to the negotiating table and reenter the nuclear deal since President Joe Biden took office on Jan. 20.
”Since we walked away from a deal that had fundamentally put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program, they have raced that program forward,” Sullivan told the council. ”Getting that program back into a box through a return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA has proven more difficult through the course of this year than we would have liked to see.”
Bagheri Kani, the chief Iranian diplomat on trade deals, said on Thursday that ”good progress” had been made on returning to the 2015 agreement but that the talks would ”break [for] a few days.”
Iran has refused direct talks with the U.S. regarding the nuclear deal, suggesting it will not resume discussions until the U.S. revokes sanctions against the country.
The Biden administration has thus far rejected lifting sanctions on Iran due to the nation’s nuclear development.
”I will say that as they continue to move their program forward, it does imperil the fundamental viability of the JCPOA over time,” Sullivan said.