U.S. President Joe Biden signs three documents including an Inauguration declaration, cabinet nominations and sub-cabinet nominations, as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris watches in the Presidents Room at the U.S. Capitol after the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2021. Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS
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Biden pledge to return the US to JCPOA

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United States President Joe Biden has pledged to return the US to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

President Biden’s commitment answered one of Iran’s major demands during the Vienna talks.

The Iran nuclear deal, officially called the JCPOA, was abandoned by the Trump administration in 2018. Since the Biden administration took over, efforts to resurrect the deal have begun, though talks were put on pause in June after six rounds because of the Iranian presidential election.

Since the US exited the deal, Iran has increased its uranium enrichment and blocked IAEA inspections at its Natanz facility, causing concern among regulators and inspectors.

A joint statement from Mr Biden, Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron and the UK’s Boris Johnson came after the US president met the European leaders.

“We welcome President Biden’s clearly demonstrated commitment to return the US to full compliance with the JCPOA and to stay in full compliance, so long as Iran does the same,” it said.
Mr Biden said at the G20 in Rome the US was suffering from the bad decisions of the Trump administration.

“We’re continuing to suffer from the very bad decisions President Trump made to pull out of the JCPOA.”

READ ALSO: G-20 leaders pledge action on climate change without Trump

 

The Biden administration has promised to re-enter the JCPOA, but US and EU negotiators have been faced with tough talks and a hardline shift from Iran as Iran’s new president and administration have taken a decidedly tougher stance towards any talks.

Last week, Iran said talks in Vienna would resume in November, but both President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister have called on the US to lift sanctions as a show of goodwill.

On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told state media if the US was serious about a deal, the Biden administration could issue an executive order rejoining the defunct JCPOA.

“It is enough for Biden to issue an executive order tomorrow and they announce they are rejoining the pact from the point where his predecessor left the deal,” Mr Amirabdollahian said.

“If there is a serious will in Washington to return to the deal, there is no need for all these negotiations at all.”

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