No Time To Waste: Iran Deal Messaging Guidance



  • There are encouraging signs out of the talks in Vienna that President Biden’s campaign promise of returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will be fulfilled. Now, we must see it through.
  • Righting the Trump administration’s wrongs and reentering the Iran nuclear deal is a precondition to addressing all other challenges with Iran. Failing to do so will only reinforce the destructive “maximum pressure” approach and risks bringing us down the path to war.
  • This may be our one chance for a clean return to the agreement — an essential foundation for future diplomacy. It is the Biden administration’s responsibility to lead the way toward reentry. Anything less may close the door to diplomacy for good.


  • The Iran nuclear deal was working as intended until the Trump administration unilaterally violated the deal by withdrawing and reimposing suffocating sanctions on the people of Iran. It was this failed “maximum pressure” policy that pushed Iran to take steps out of compliance with the agreement — and even these are largely reversible.
  • Iran’s steps away from the agreement, like increasing its uranium enrichment levels, underscores how critical it is that the parties return to the JCPOA, which cut off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.
  • The last four years are clear proof that “maximum pressure” is a maximum failure. Maintaining sanctions and trying to wait Iran out will only further empower hardliners and undermine Iranians fighting for change. That’s nothing short of a recipe for war.
  • Diplomacy works. Making the first move to return to the nuclear agreement that we violated is a necessary first step to rebuilding the United States’ diplomatic credibility and healing diplomatic relationships that Trump destroyed.
  • The Iran nuclear deal worked before and it will work again. It remains the best option on the table to build peace, constrain Iran’s nuclear capabilities, and empower everyday Iranians. 
  • Calls to widen the Iran deal to comprehensively solve all U.S. challenges with Iran before reentry are merely bad faith attacks from those who oppose diplomacy altogether. Getting back into the nuclear deal is a necessary precondition to addressing future challenges with Iran.
  • With elections in Iran fast approaching, there is no more room for delay: we must act first to lift sanctions and return to the JCPOA in full. 

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