Report: Biden seeking direct contacts with Iran

US official says Biden administration is working on a direct dialogue with Iran through European mediators.

Elad Benari ,

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden's administration is working on a direct dialogue with Iran through European mediators, an official said on Monday, according to Yediot Aharonot.

"There will be a new approach focusing on American retaliatory strategy in the region and finding a solution to the conflict with Iran," the official was quoted as having told Sky News in Arabic.

"Contacts [with Iran] will happen in parallel with US allies in the region, mainly the Gulf states and Israel," the official added.

Biden has taken a different approach to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers than former President Donald Trump, who withdrew from the 2015 agreement nearly three years ago.

Iran, in turn, has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

Biden has expressed a desire to return to the 2015 agreement and recently told The New York Times that he would return to the 2015 agreement if Iran returned to compliance with it.

Iran has made clear that it will not renegotiate the original agreement. On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, urged Biden to "choose a better path" by returning to the 2015 deal and warned that the opportunity would be lost if Washington insists on further Iranian concessions up front.

Biden’s Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a confirmation hearing last week he would consult with US allies regarding the possibility of re-entering a nuclear deal with Iran.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later said that Iran must resume compliance with the restrictions under the 2015 deal for the US to come to the table.