Biden Admin Wants To Resume Iran Nuclear Talks ‘As Soon As Possible’, State Department Says

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Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press briefing Thursday that the Biden administration wants to resume nuclear talks with Iran “as soon as possible.”

Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow that Tehran also has plans to resume nuclear talks “soon,” Reuters reported.

Diplomats met in Vienna for multilateral nuclear talks earlier this year, although negotiations have stalled since former President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. President Joe Biden has signaled he would rejoin the 2015 deal under terms that could see the U.S. scale back the sanctions imposed under the Trump administration. (RELATED: Iran Says They Are Ready For Nuclear Talks But Without ‘Western Pressure’)

“We have heard similar statements from the Iranian government at various levels over the past couple weeks,” Price told reporters. “We have heard from the Iranians that they expect negotiations to resume soon. We hope their definition of soon matches our definition of soon. We would like negotiations to resume in Vienna as soon as possible.”

“We continue to believe the diplomatic path is open,” he added. “We continue to believe a diplomatic approach is the best means to verifiably, once again, ensure that Iran can never obtain a nuclear weapon.”


Price also said the Biden administration believes an “imminent” return to indirect talks in Vienna over restarting the Iran nuclear deal is necessary because the process can not go on indefinitely. Iran has continued to advance its nuclear capabilities in the absence of negotiations.

Iran’s former top nuclear official, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced in January that Iran will resume uranium enrichment at the Fordo underground nuclear facility. Tehran also said it planned to enrich uranium at levels of 20% or higher, far greater than the 3.67% cap imposed under the nuclear deal.

A negotiator for Iran’s government later announced in April that the country will begin enriching uranium to 60%, its highest level ever. Although 60% is still short of weapons-grade level, the ramping up of enrichment since then has brought Iran much closer to producing a nuclear weapon.

A report published in September by the United Nation’s atomic inspection group, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), concluded that Iran had come within one month of having enough material to fuel a nuclear weapon.