In a significant step to revive diplomatic relations, the Biden administration said Thursday that the US was willing to engage in talks with Tehran and other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, ahead of any initiative by either side on the stalled agreement, CNN reported.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement Thursday that 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.
Biden Administration MovesTo Initiate Talks Over Stalled Iran Deal
The P5+1 referred to the permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United State, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China and Germany.
According to commentators, it was a move to lay down the foundation for diplomacy on which a resolution to the ongoing impasse between Washington and Tehran could be built. Both had insisted that the other initiate the next move.
The US officials had made it clear that their willingness to sit down with partners and Iran was not a concession or even the beginning of nuclear talks, rather the first diplomatic step to figure how to best approach the substantial issues.
The first senior State Department official said until they sat down and talked nothing was going to happen. He added it did not mean that when they sat down and talked, they would succeed, but they knew that if they did not take that step, the situation was only going from bad to worse. It was a meaningful step, but they recognized that it was just one of many that needed to be taken from all sides.
Enrique Mora, deputy secretary general for political affairs of European External Action Service, said in a tweet, the Iran nuclear deal, which the US abandoned during the Trump administration, was at a critical moment.
He added, intense talks with all participants and the US. He added, he was ready to invite them to an informal meeting to discuss the way forward.
It was not clear if the Iranians would accept such an overture, according to the official who told the reporters Thursday.
According to an earlier CNN report Thursday the Biden administration might send a signal of its willingness to re-enter into 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 the point, the details were still being fleshed out.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council had been informed by the Biden administration that it was reversing the unilateral efforts of the Trump administration to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran.
According to the then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claim in September, the US had reimposed all UN sanctions on Iran, despite not being a party to the nuclear deal. The effort roundly rejected by other UN member states.
According to a senior State Department official, snapback was designed to help ensure that Iran performed its commitments under the JCPOA. He added no other member of the UN Security Council agreed that the previously terminated provisions of prior resolutions had snapped back last September, the position of the Trump administration.
He added, that it essentially isolated the United States on the Security Council and in the UN system and weakened the ability of the US to work with its allies and partners on the Security Council to address the destabilizing activity of Iran.
They added, that by reversing this position it basically put the US back in good stead with its allies and partners and strengthened US’ ability to engage other Security Council members on Iran.
The US was also in the process of lifting travel restrictions on Iranian diplomats.