Department Press Briefing – March 23, 2022 (Excerpts)

March 23, 2022

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Library Documents: 

Related Country: 

  • Russia


QUESTION: The National Security Advisor said yesterday that a role Russia played in the JCPOA was accepting enhanced uranium from Iran’s stockpile to keep them under the breakout threshold. Is it fair to expect Russia to play the same role if there’s a return to mutual compliance?

MR PRICE: Again, we are not there yet. This is something that – in terms of a mutual return to compliance, we’ve seen the significant progress that had been achieved in recent weeks. But as you’ve heard from us in recent days, an agreement is neither imminent nor certain. We are preparing for both scenarios; that is to say, a scenario in which we have a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA and in which the original members of the JCPOA – the P5+1 – would be involved in that very arrangement that would once again reimpose stringent, verifiable, permanent limits on Iran’s ability to ever obtain and obtain a nuclear weapon, and a scenario in which we do not have a JCPOA but we are – in which we will be equally committed to the President’s commitment that Iran will never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.

QUESTION: But Jake Sullivan said that role was a practical one. Does the State Department still believe that would be a practical role for Russia to play?

MR PRICE: Would it be a practical role for Russia to play the same role that it did in the JCPOA prior to the decision to withdraw from it, essentially to accept and to pay for the highly enriched uranium to get it out of Iran’s hands so that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon? I think that’s a role we’d be willing to entertain.