Iran still appears to be calling the shots in nuclear deal negotiations

It appears that the standoff between the Biden administration and Iran is coming to a head.

Reports indicate that Iran, this week, is expected to indicate when it will return to negotiations aimed at getting the Middle Eastern country back into the Iran Nuclear Deal. 

But, as we will see, there is a catch.

Background

President Joe Biden and his administration have been working to get Iran back into former President Barrack Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal, which removed economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran’s agreement to cut back on its nuclear weapons program.

Former President Donald Trump removed the United States from that agreement because, in his view, it wasn’t getting the job done, particularly as Iran wasn’t adhering to it. Trump, instead, place crippling economic sanctions on the country.

Recently, Iran has been playing hardball with the United States, using the fact that Biden wants to return to the Iran Nuclear Deal to its advantage at the bargaining table. Iran has done so by refusing to directly speak with the United States and by refusing to even consider entering back into the deal until all economic sanctions have been removed. Biden has been willing to give in here, at least partially.

But, the catch is that Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has now made it clear that it would not be willing to reenter into the Iran Nuclear Deal unless President Biden can guarantee that the United States, going forward, will not be able to back out of the deal again.

“The U.S. President, lacking authority, is not ready to give guarantees,” an Iranian official tweeted. “If the current status quo continues, the result of negotiations is clear.”

Tensions are on the rise

Negotiations to return Iran to the nuclear deal have gained some urgency following recent reports that Iran has been closing in on nuclear weapons.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently warned: “Iran’s nuclear weapon program is at a critical point. Uranium to the level of 60%, which is only one step short of weapons-grade material.”

This has been confirmed by the Biden administration. With negotiations stalled, Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently suggested that the Biden administration is ready to take military action if necessary.

But, the Biden administration has made it clear that it would prefer diplomacy.

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