US President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday formally nominated Wendy Sherman as his pick to serve as the No. 2 official at the State Department, The Hill reports.
Sherman previously served as under secretary of State for political affairs in the Obama administration and was a lead negotiator of the 2015 nuclear deal that was signed between Iran and world powers, including the US.
Biden also announced that Victoria Nuland will be nominated for the role of under secretary of State for political affairs. She previously served as assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs in the Obama administration.
Sherman and Nuland have both been vocal critics of President Donald Trump since they left government, particularly over policies they said were intended to appease Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“This diverse and accomplished team ... embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works with our allies. Collectively, they have secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory — and I am confident that they will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America’s global and moral leadership. America is back,” Biden said in a statement.
“To meet this moment, we need a Department of State that looks like America, led by diverse women and men who will be unafraid to challenge the status quo. That is this team,” added Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken. “These passionate, energetic, deeply experienced nominees will help keep our people and our country safe, secure, and prosperous.”
While Trump withdrew from the Iran agreement in May of 2018, Biden has taken a different approach and has expressed a desire to rejoin the deal.
He recently told The New York Times that he would do so if Iran returned to compliance with it.
The Iranian government, however, has ruled out the possibility of renegotiating the nuclear deal, saying it was fully discussed in detail five years ago and needs no renegotiations.