US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Iran must return to JCPOA compliance first and then the US will follow. But there will be no easing on existing sanctions against Iran, which continues to back Houthi strikes against Saudi Arabia from Yemen, and that Washington will not offer incentives to Tehran for returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran Nuclear Deal.
“We will not offer any unilateral gestures or incentives to induce the Iranians to come to the table,” Price said. “If the Iranians are under the impression that absent any movement on their part to resume full compliance with the JCPOA that we will offer favors or unilateral gestures, well, that is a misimpression.”
Price said the US is dug in as Tehran’s possible return to the Iran Nuclear Deal would just be the beginning.
“If Iran returns to its full compliance with the JCPOA, the United States would do the same,” he said. “As I have said before, that would be a necessary but insufficient development. Insufficient because we would then seek to lengthen and strengthen the terms of that deal, using it as a platform to negotiate follow-on arrangements to address these other areas of profound concern with Iran’s behavior in the region.”
The JCPOA is a 159-page agreement signed in 2015 by the US, Iran, France, the UK, China, Germany and Russia in which Iran would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor its nuclear programs. Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement accusing Iran of failing to live up to the agreement’s obligations.
US President Joe Biden took office in January and announced a willingness to re-negotiate with Tehran and bring Iran back into JCPOA and IAEA compliance.
Price said US envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking returned from meetings with Arab leaders in the Gulf and in Jordan on Wednesday hoping to push all of the parties to a ceasefire in Yemen, but said more discussions are required.