The United States announced that it is willing to talk with Iran and other nations about a nuclear deal.
The Biden Administration said Thursday that the United States is willing to sit down for talks with Tehran and other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal before either side has taken tangible steps to salvage or return to compliance with the agreement, an important step in diplomacy that could allow restoration of agreements reached by previous administrations that Donald Trump decided to terminate in 2018.
“The United States would accept an invitation from the European Union High Representative to attend a meeting of the P5+1 and Iran to discuss a diplomatic way forward on Iran’s nuclear program,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday in a statement.
The P5+1 refers to the permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – and Germany.
It is a move by the U.S. government to lay the groundwork for diplomacy that could eventually break the current stalemate between Washington and Tehran, who have insisted that the other must act first, CNN reported.
U.S. officials emphasized that their willingness to sit down with other partners and Iran is not a concession or even the start of nuclear talks, but is simply the first diplomatic step in figuring out how to begin discussing substantive issues.
“Until we sit down and talk, nothing is going to happen. It doesn’t mean that when we sit down and talk we’re going to succeed, but we know that if we don’t take that step, the situation is just going to go from bad to worse,” the first senior State Department official said. “It’s a significant step, but we recognize it’s just one of many that will have to be taken on all sides.”
The offer coincided with a tweet from EU Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Enrique Mora, who said the agreement is at “a critical juncture” and that he was willing to invite all participants in the agreement to “an informal meeting. meeting to discuss the way forward.”
President Joe Biden promised during his campaign that he would be prepared to bring the United States back into the nuclear deal if Iran returned to compliance with the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear work. Since Biden’s inauguration, administration officials have issued cautious statements and have not indicated when talks might begin.
After several weeks in which neither side appeared ready to make the first diplomatic move, the United States on Thursday signaled its willingness to come to the negotiating table.
CNN reported earlier Thursday that the Biden administration could send a signal that they were prepared to re-enter a serious process with Iran and members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal, but at that time the details were still being worked out.
There is no response from Iran yet.