President Biden has quietly declared the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action designed to curtail Iran's aspirations for nuclear weaponry "dead," in newly uncovered footage posted to Twitter. Biden's comments — reportedly made in early November as he shook hands during a pre-midterm election rally — came in response to a question from an unidentified woman who asked the president whether he would declare the Iran Nuclear Deal "dead."
"It is dead," Biden is heard admitting in the footage. "But we are not gonna announce it."
"Long story," the president added.
The Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, is the result of years of negotiations between Iran and a consortium of western nations, culminating in a 2015 treaty in which Iran committed to a non-weaponized atomic program in exchange for the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions. Although the United States certified that Iran was meeting its obligations under the treaty twice in 2017, then-President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018 calling it "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into." At the time Biden criticized the Trump decision as a "mistake," explaining that "It will isolate the United States from nearly every major world power. It will weaken our credibility and global leadership. It will allow Iran to garner international sympathy while doing nothing to reduce its harmful activities across the Middle East."
While Biden did not elaborate on why he wouldn't publicly announce the deal was dead, a National Security Council spokesperson told Axios on Tuesday that the JCPOA was simply "not our focus right now. It's not on the agenda," and said the White House was more focused on "practical ways to confront" Iran on its ongoing repression of protesters, and its support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.