Biden says JCPOA is “dead but we will not announce it. It’s a long story.” The woman then quickly responds, “We don’t want an agreement with the mullahs…”
Iran nuclear deal “is dead”, US President Joe Biden said in a new visual that is widely circulated on social media. Biden was speaking about the stalled Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) struck in 2015 between Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, the US, and the EU in exchange for easing the Trump-era sanctions to limit the Islamic Republic’s ambitious nuclear programme. Although months after negotiations in Vienna suffered a deadlock, US President Biden was heard admitting in the new footage that the deal was, in fact, dead.
The footage circulating did not indicate the date or location but shows Biden addressing a crowd behind the metal barrier. Among the crowd are some with Iranian bands on their forehead. Some agencies say that the visuals are from a campaign rally by Biden held in early November in California. Although this could not be independently verified by Republic. The footage appears to be from Nov. 4, and Biden is addressing a group of activists.
“President Biden, are you going to announce that the JCPOA is dead? Can you announce it?” a woman in the crowd is heard asking Biden. The latter shakes hands with her as he notes, It’s dead but we will not announce it. It’s a long story. We’re going to make sure —” he is then cut off by another person. The woman quickly responds, “We don’t want an agreement with the mullahs…They don’t represent us. They are not our government.”
Responding to the video, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told a briefing that Biden’s comments are “entirely consistent with what we’re saying about the JCPOA,” but added that it is “not our priority right now.” “We do not expect an agreement to occur in the near future,” he stated. “To my knowledge, no one is questioning the authenticity [of the video],” he added. “I don’t think we are going to investigate it.”
US Deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel previously said at a White House briefing, “We have been clear also that the JCPOA is not our focus right now, and we candidly remain very sceptical of anything coming out of Tehran on this issue, whether it be issues relating to the IAEA or other things.” “We don’t see a deal coming together anytime soon. Iran is killing its young people and selling UAVs to Russia to kill Ukrainians. Our focus is on practical ways to confront them in these areas,” a National Security Council spokesperson said in a televised interview.
EU’s Borrell ‘less confident’ about JCPOA restoration
In 2018, former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal with Tehran citing the breach of the regime’s compliance with its terms. He reinstated the crippling trade and economic sanctions, stressing that Iran must fulfil its obligations. Biden has since pledged to resurrect the stale deal. While the negotiations kick-started in April 2021 in Vienna, they have been at a standstill.
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna had warned that the process of restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “will not be easy”. “The contradictions, primarily between Iran and the Western participants, are quite large on many points,” he had said. European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and EU’s lead negotiator in the nuclear deal talks with Iran also noted that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was in danger of torpedoing due to the divergence in stance and disagreements held by Washington and Tehran. “I’m sorry to say that I am less confident today about the convergence of the negotiation process and about the prospect of closing the deal right now,” he had said.