President Joe Biden’s effort to restore former President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran may be finished soon, according to the State Department.
Deputy State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters on Thursday there was “significant progress” in the negotiations with Iran.
“There has been significant progress and we are close to a possible deal, but a number of difficult issue remain unsolved,” Porter said.
Iran now has the upper hand in negotiations, as Europe and the United States are struggling after the the price of oil spiked to over $110 a barrel after the latest Russian invasion into Ukraine.
Both Europe and the United States are eying the potential of a million barrels of Iranian oil per day as a welcome relief from the higher prices fueled by the Russian war in Ukraine.
Iranian protesters carry a dummy of U.S. President Joe Biden, during a rally outside the former U.S. embassy in the capital Tehran on November 4, 2021, to mark the 42th anniversary of the start of the Iran hostage crisis. (AFP via Getty Images)
But Iran has other sticking points in the negotiations that remain.
Iran has demanded that the International Atomic Energy Agency end their investigations in their nuclear activities.
The director of the IAEA Rafael Mariano Grossi, who is traveling to Tehran for negotiations, expressed optimism about negotiations, asserting there were ways his agency could work with Iran on the issue.
Iran is also demanding the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps be removed from the United States terror blacklist, a decision that former President Donald Trump made in 2019.
Iran also wants the United States to guarantee they will never withdraw from the nuclear agreement again, something that would be extremely difficult for diplomats to commit to, as no American president can prevent a future president from acting.
Despite sticking points, American diplomats remain positive that the nuclear deal with Iran can be salvaged.