US says Biden prefers diplomacy with Iran over JCPOA

US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby says the White House supports a diplomatic solution in dealing with Iran's nuclear program. Tehran says the revitalization of the nuclear deal, JCPOA, is contingent upon a Washington's decision.

“The JCPOA is just not on the agenda right now. We’re not — we’re not focused on that,” Kirby told reporters on Wednesday, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Now, nothing has changed about the fact that we want to make sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapons capability,” he continued, adding that President Joe Biden still believes that a diplomatic solution to that would be highly preferable.

“But the Iranians were not negotiating in good faith. They’ve shown no inclination to move in that direction,” he claimed.

Iran has cautioned the United States that the window of opportunity for an agreement on reviving the nuclear deal will not remain open forever, urging Washington to adopt a constructive approach to salvage the accord.

Iran showed to the world the peaceful nature of its nuclear program by signing the JCPOA with six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China. But, Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 and its subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the deal in limbo.

Negotiations between the parties to the landmark agreement kicked off in Vienna in April 2021, with the intention of bringing the US back into the deal and putting an end to its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

The discussions, however, have been at a standstill since August 2022 due to Washington’s insistence on not lifting all of the anti-Iran sanctions and offering the necessary guarantees that it will not exit the agreement again.

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