Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki (Excerpts)

April 2, 2021

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


Q: Just real quick, on another foreign policy one.  So in Geneva — I’m sorry, in Vienna, now there’s this discussion about having — or U.S. and Iranian negotiators are to be in Vienna at the same time but not meeting directly.

MS. PSAKI:  Right.

Q: Can you say a word about what you expect to come out of that shuttle diplomacy and how soon you think you could actually sit down at the table together with the Iranians?

MS. PSAKI:  Sure.  Well, for everyone — for people who haven’t been following it as closely as you, let me catch you up.  We’ve agreed to participate in talks with our European, Russian, and Chinese partners to identify the issues involved in a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA with Iran. 

This is a welcome and potentially constructive early step, even if the diplomatic road ahead may be long, as it was during the first negotiations around the JCPOA.  We are very clear-eyed about the hurdles that remain. 

These talks will be structured around working groups that the EU is going to form with the remaining partners in the JCPOA, including Iran.  And the primary issues that will be discussed are the nuclear steps that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance with the JCPOA, and the sanctions relief steps the United States would need to take in order to return to compliance as well. 

We don’t anticipate presently that there will be direct talks between the United States and Iran through the process, though we certainly remain open to them.