WASHINGTON (AP)-The Biden administration believes that it will revamp and improve Iranian diplomacy as the U.S. looks at restoring restrictions on the nuclear program of the nation and reining in its regional ambitions.
As Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Friday the appointment of a new special envoy to Iran, the national security advisor to President Joe Biden said that it is a top priority to restore limits to the Iranian nuclear program and that the administration will try to expand on any restrictions it could negotiate.
Jake Sullivan said Friday that the aim of the administration is to ‘back-in-a-box’ the Iranian nuclear program and then confront other troublesome Iranian activities in the Middle East. As one explanation for withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear agreement that Sullivan helped negotiate for the Obama administration, President Donald Trump cited Iran’s “malign conduct” in the Middle East.
“Our view is that if we can get back to diplomacy that can put Iran’s nuclear program in a box, that will create a platform upon which to build a global effort,” Sullivan said at an event hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace, with Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
“We are going to have to address Iran’s other bad behavior, malign behavior across the region, but from our perspective, a critical early priority has to be to deal with what is an escalating nuclear crisis as they move closer and closer to having enough fissile material for a weapon, and we would like to make sure that we reestablish some of the parameters and constraints on their program that have fallen away over the past two years,” Sullivan said.
The Trump administration has been vehemently condemned by Iran for withdrawing from the nuclear agreement and reimposing structural sanctions. Tehran has responded cautiously to the Biden administration’s signals that it is willing to speak.