Joe Biden doesn’t appear to be wasting any time getting back in negotiations with Iran. In 2018, President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by then President Obama in 2015. Biden appears eager to reactivate the agreement, while Iran is rejecting Biden’s terms for a new deal.
President-elect Biden has said he will rejoin the nuclear deal and lift sanctions if Tehran returns to “strict compliance with the nuclear deal.” The program was originally designed to constrain the program in a verifiable way. President Trump abandoned the agreement after Iran breached the 3.67% cap on uranium enrichment. Since the U.S. pulled out of the agreement, Iran’s enrichment level has remained at around 4.5%.
In November, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had more than 12 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted under the agreement.
The nuclear discussions between the countries come as Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was a key figure in Iran’s nuclear program, was recently killed in an attack near the capital of Tehran on Friday. Iran believes Israel played a role in the death of Fakhrizadeh.
On Wednesday, Iran’s parliament passed a bill that would prevent UN inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities and required the government to resume enriching uranium at 20%. Uranium enriched at a higher level can be used in a nuclear weapon.
Iran’s government continues to insist that their nuclear ambitions are completely peaceful.