Tensions are higher than ever.
If diplomatic talks to prevent Iran from developing its nuclear capabilities fail, President Biden has told his national security team to “be prepared.”
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, made these revelations to the press on Thursday (December 9th). Speaking to the press, she said that President Biden still believed the best approach to stop Iran’s nuclear program was diplomatic channels.
However, it appears that after months of indirectly negotiating with Iran, the Biden administration’s patience is at the end of its tether.
Psaki confirmed this speculation, saying that the ongoing advances in Iran’s nuclear program have led to President Biden asking his team to be prepared in case “diplomacy fails.” She also stressed that the administration was turning to other options that require preparations.
According to Psaki, the administration had made it clear to Iran that the only way out of sanctions would be through nuclear compliance, revealing that Biden had kept all the sanctions from the previous administration.
Elaborating on these statements, Psaki said that unless diplomatic efforts got back on track soon “and if Iran’s nuclear program continues to accelerate,” the administration would have no choice but to take measures that would further limit Iran’s revenue-producing sectors.
This news comes as the Biden administration takes steps to show Iran its seriousness in its intent to place economic pressure on Tehran.
Next week, a delegation led by the director for the Office of Foreign Asset Control, Andrea Gacki, will visit the United Arab Emirates to ensure governments comply with sanctions against Iran.
The event coincides with a Russian envoy and the European Union meeting with Iranian negotiators to repair the fragmented 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
It also comes after Iran’s continual refusal to engage in direct talks with the U.S and the June election of anti-Western President Ebrahim Raisi.
Iran has been adamant that all sanctions imposed during the Trump administration be lifted. However, Western officials are wary since Tehran has backtracked on agreements in previous negotiations.
Commenting on the matter, Ned Price, State Department spokesperson, stated the runway for diplomatic negotiations was “very short” saying, that if Iran did not take negotiations seriously, instead suspecting the U.S. of weakness, they would be sorely surprised.