During this week's nuclear talks in Vienna, the US provided Iran with an outline of the sanctions it was prepared to remove as part of a mutual return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, a senior State Department official told reporters on Wednesday, according to Barak Ravid of Axios.
Iran has thus far demanded that the roughly 1,500 sanctions imposed by the Trump administration all be lifted, but the Biden administration says that's a non-starter.
According to the report, the US broke the sanctions into three categories: Nuclear-related sanctions the US must remove to return to full compliance, non-nuclear sanctions the US does not need to remove, and sanctions imposed by the Trump administration under a non-nuclear pretext, but which the Biden administration believes were only meant to obstruct a return to the nuclear deal.
The US told Iran it will need to review all the sanctions in the third category to determine whether they were warranted or could be lifted, according to Ravid’s report.
The State Department official said the US made clear to Iran it will not agree to remove all sanctions before Iran takes any action at all.
“We have more clarity about what the US needs to do to go back to full compliance with the JCPOA and Iran knows better what it needs to do to go back to full compliance," the official said.
It has continued to do so even as current US President Joe Biden has indicated a desire to return to the deal.
The talks in Vienna involved diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran and Russia who met the Iranian representatives, while US diplomats participated indirectly in the talks from a nearby hotel.
The US and European Union both said on Tuesday that more work was needed to revive the 2015 deal, while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the "negotiations have achieved 60-70 percent progress."