The United States is weighing a wide array of ideas on how to revive the Iranian nuclear deal, including an option where both sides would take small steps short of full compliance to buy time, Reuters news agency reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter.
Such a modest approach could slow the deterioration in relations since former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 the agency added.
This option could entail Washington allowing Tehran to get economic benefits less valuable than the sanctions relief it received under the 2015 deal in return for Iran stopping, or perhaps reversing, its decision to reduce commitments to the agreement, according to Reuters.
The sources stressed US President Joe Biden has yet to decide his policy. His stated position “remains that Iran resume full compliance with the pact before the United States will,” Reuters said.
“(They) are having a real think,” said one source familiar with the US review, saying ideas under consideration include a straight return to the 2015 nuclear deal and what he called “less for less” as an interim step.
Another source said if the Biden administration concluded it would take too long to negotiate a full return to the deal, it could adopt a more modest approach.
“Should (they) at least try to give Iran some sanctions relief and get Iran to agree to pause and maybe roll back some of its nuclear (steps)?” said this source.
Washington pulled out the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018 and reimposed severe sanctions on Iran’s economy through a policy dubbed ‘maximum pressure’ to force Tehran into a ‘better’ deal.
A year later, Iran started to reduce commitments to the deal according to the text of the JCPOA and to create a balance, asking other parties to shield its economy from unilateral US sanctions.