In a newly surfaced video captured at a midterm election rally in Oceanside, California, on Nov. 4, President Biden told a woman present that the 2015 U.S. nuclear deal with Iran was “dead,” but that his administration would not make an official statement. announcement confirming the status.
At the meeting, a woman is filmed asking the president if he can declare that the nuclear deal, which the Biden administration has been trying to restart for the past two years, is, in fact, no longer possible.
“President Biden, would you please announce that JCPOA is dead? Can you just announce that?” asks the woman in reference to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal reached when Biden was vice president in President Barack Obama’s administration, which was designed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
“It’s dead, but we’re not going to announce it,” Biden is heard telling the woman. “Long story, but we’ll know for sure.”
Former President Donald Trump walked away from the deal in 2018, and during the first two years of his presidency, Biden had hoped to revive it. But Iran reneged on key provisions of the deal, denying International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) inspectors access to nuclear sites and shutting down cameras monitoring activity in some facilities.
Several recent developments, including the indictment of an Iranian national who allegedly conspired to assassinate John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, the attack on author Salman Rushdie, and Iran’s ongoing protests for women’s rights, have raised hopes of recovery. of the conditions further complicated. of the agreement.
In August, Iran offered to resume compliance with the JCPOA, but the offer was met with skepticism by US officials. On Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed that the administration believes negotiations with Iran are at an impasse.
“The deal with Iran is not our focus right now,” Kirby told reporters.
Republican lawmakers had been roundly critical of Biden’s efforts to relaunch the deal, and Democrats in both chambers had also begun to express opposition to it.
It is widely believed that Iran is on the verge of producing nuclear weapons, using enriched uranium produced at its own power plants.