A video from early November has surfaced showing Joe Biden believes the Iran nuclear deal is “dead,” but he doesn’t plan on telling the American public why.
Biden’s comments came just before Election Day last month at a campaign rally in California. An attendee asked him if he would be announcing that the JCPOA – known as the “Iran nuclear deal” – was still possible or if it were dead.
Biden answered, “It is dead, but we are not gonna announce it. Long story.”
Iran deal is dead but Joey isn’t allowed to announce it. pic.twitter.com/fyW0yHIZb5
— T For Love and Country 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@ToriDi) December 20, 2022
The attendee told Biden she did not want to see the U.S. enter into “any deals with the Mullahs because they don’t represent us.”
Biden said, “I know they don’t represent you, but they will have a nuclear weapon that they’ll represent.”
Biden’s comment was the first direct statement that the JCPOA was not going forward. Officials with the administration have signaled for several months that renewing the agreement was no longer a White House priority but refused to say so explicitly.
After the video was made public, a White House National Security Council spokesperson said on Tuesday that the Iran nuclear deal is “not our focus right now,” and is “not on the agenda.”
As negotiations broke down between the Biden administration and the Iranian regime over the summer, the U.S. has announced new sanctions on Iran. It has also expressed support for widespread protests inside Iran.
Biden promised he would oversee a renewal of the JCPOA if elected while campaigning for president in 2020. Iran indicated at the time that it would be prepared to agree to previous restrictions on its nuclear program if the U.S. would lift the sanctions put in place by President Donald Trump.
After assuming office, Biden did not lift the sanctions immediately and delayed beginning negotiations for a new JCPOA for several months.
Eventually, the Biden administration appeared close to reviving the JCPOA later in 2021. However, former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected a proposal that mediators believed would be acceptable. Reports indicated that Rouhani requested a U.S. guarantee that the JCPOA would not be revoked for at least so long as Biden remained in office. The White House reportedly rejected that proposal.
The UN issued a report in September that called on Biden to reach a new nuclear agreement, claiming that sanctions have caused shortages of medicine in Iran and food insecurity for the citizens protesting against the oppressive regime.