Dec 20, 2022 - World

Biden in newly surfaced video: Iran nuclear deal is "dead"

Joe Biden.

Photo: Samuel Corum/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden said on the sidelines of a Nov. 4 election rally that the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is “dead,” but stressed the U.S. won’t formally announce it, according to a new video that surfaced on social media late Monday.

Why it matters: It's the strongest confirmation so far that the Biden administration believes there's no path forward for the Iran deal, which leaves key questions about the future of Tehran's nuclear program.

  • In late October, U.S. envoy for Iran Rob Malley said that the administration is not going to "waste time" on trying to revive the Iran nuclear deal at this time considering Tehran's crackdown on protesters, Iranian support for Russia's war in Ukraine, and Iran's positions on its nuclear program.

Driving the news: Biden made the remark in a short conversation with a woman who attended an election rally in Oceanside, California.

  • The woman asked Biden to announce that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the Iran deal is formally known, is dead.
  • Biden responded that he would not “for a lot of reasons."
  • But then he added: “It is dead, but we are not gonna announce it. Long story."
  • The woman replied that the Iranian regime doesn’t represent the people. “I know they don’t represent you. But they will have a nuclear weapon that they'll represent," he said.

What they're saying: "The JCPOA is not our focus right now. It’s not on the agenda," a White House National Security Council spokesperson told Axios.

  • "We don’t see a deal coming together anytime soon," the spokesperson said, pointing to Iran's crackdown on protesters and support for Russia in the war in Ukraine. "Our focus is on practical ways to confront them in these areas."
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