Biden Press Secretary: Iran Will Be Addressed in Early Talks With Foreign Leaders

Biden's focus will be rebuilding trust, with American people and foreign allies, press secretary Jen Psaki says, breaking sharply with combative style of Trump administration

Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
Washington
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks as she holds the first press briefing of Joe Biden's presidency, at the White House in Washington, DC., January 20, 2021.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks as she holds the first press briefing of Joe Biden's presidency, at the White House in Washington, DC., January 20, 2021.Credit: JIM WATSON - AFP
Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
Washington

WASHINGTON – The topic of Iran, and further steps to be taken regarding its nuclear ambitions, will be part of first conversations with foreign leaders, Joe Biden's press secretary said on Wednesday.

"The president has made clear that he believes that through follow-on diplomacy, the United States should seek to lengthen and strengthen nuclear constraints on Iran. Iran must resume compliance with... the deal for that to proceed," Psaki told members of the press, scattered throughout the room because of coronavirus constraints.

Fundamentalist Israel is no longer Jewish, says Avrum Burg on Haaretz Weekly podcast. LISTEN

She added that Biden's first conversations with foreign leaders will be "partners and allies, and we certainly anticipate that this will be part of this discussion."

Psaki's comments echo Secretary of State-nominee Antony Blinken's remarks at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, when he said it was "vitally important" that the United States consult with Israel and Gulf states regarding any potential re-engagement with the Iran nuclear deal.

Biden previously promised to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal while building on the agreement, specifically vowing to take on the ballistic missile program. His national security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that Iran's ballistic missile program "must be on the table" if the United States re-enters the deal.

This was Jen Psaki's first briefing, during which she said she was expecting disagreements to take place in the briefing room: "That's democracy."

"Rebuilding trust with the American people is central to our focus in the press office," Psaki added.

During Donald Trump's tenure in the White House, press briefings were often rowdy and antagonistic. The last briefing took place on January 7, the day after the Capitol riots. Then-White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany had then made a very short statement before getting out of the room, without taking any questions.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them