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Eli Lake

Biden Cannot Allow Iran to Keep Its Weapons Program

It’s not enough for U.S. negotiators simply to demand Iranian compliance with a flawed bargain.

Working on Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Working on Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Photographer: ATTA KENARE/AFP

Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, could not have been more clear after the first round of talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal concluded this week in Vienna: We’re not making any concessions until America does.

The U.S. must first lift sanctions, he said. Then and only then will Iran be “fully ready to stop its retaliation nuclear activity and return to its full commitments.” Until now, President Joe Biden’s administration has said that it won’t lift sanctions until Iran returns to compliance.