Press Gaggle by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan En Route Brussels, Belgium (Excerpts)

March 23, 2022

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Russia


Q    When do you think we may see —
MR. SULLIVAN:  — when the time is right. 
Q    — JCPOA updated?  And to what extent that will be discussed on this trip during this week?
MR. SULLIVAN:  So he’ll have the chance to talk to our E3 European partners — UK, France, Germany; four members of the P5+1; as well as the European Union, which plays this important coordinating role in the P5+1.
Where things stand now is we’ve made progress over the course of the past several weeks.  There are still some issues left.  We’re working on those issues.  It’s unclear whether this will come to closure or not.  But, you know, we’re diligently trying to drive the diplomacy to a place where we have put Iran’s nuclear program back in a box. 
Q    Are you sure that a deal could put more money or more freedom to use money in the hands of Iran, and that, in turn, could be a lifeline to Russia’s economy?  Can you talk about the sort of triangulation of that here?
MR. SULLIVAN:  First, Russia posed both publicly and privately this proposition that Iran should somehow be entirely carved out of the sanctions regime, which was not accepted by any of the parties. 
So the only question of sanctions as it relates to Russia in the context of the JCPOA is about sanctions on Iran being able to, for example, cooperate with the Russian Atomic Energy authorities to ship out their enriched uranium. 
So we feel confident that if we were to get back into the JCPOA on a compliance-for-compliance basis.  It would not create a significant economic opportunity for Russia. 
And we would take whatever necessary enforcement steps to ensure that that was the case.