President Joe Biden's administration is poised to impose more sanctions on Iran if the regime pushes ahead with its nuclear weapons program, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Biden believes diplomacy, coordinated with allies and regional partners, is the best way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, Psaki told reporters Thursday.
BIDEN TALKS TOUGH ON CHINA, BUT CRITICS WANT MORE ACTION
"However, given the ongoing advances in Iran's nuclear program, the president has asked his team to be prepared in the event that diplomacy fails," she said. "We have made clear to Iran that the only path out of sanctions is through nuclear compliance."
Biden has retained all of the Iran sanctions he inherited from former President Donald Trump, according to Psaki. Trump introduced his restrictions after he withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Trump's decision has complicated the status of the deal, with recent talks in Vienna failing to yield any results.
As such, Biden was exploring other sanctions on Iran's revenue-producing sectors, according to Psaki. As part of that process, Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, will lead a delegation to the United Arab Emirates to understand better how companies and financial institutions are facilitating noncompliant Iranian commerce through the UAE, Psaki said. Gacki's trip will build on discussions national security adviser Jake Sullivan and White House Middle East and North Africa Coordinator Brett McGurk have had in Europe as well.
But Psaki declined Thursday to specify a timeline for further Iran negotiations or future sanctions.
Psaki was also pressed Thursday on Biden's highly anticipated phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week amid heightened tensions with Ukraine. She dismissed reports the U.S. suggested Ukraine cede some of its territory to Russia as the Kremlin amasses military personnel and equipment along their shared border.
She, too, indicated Biden would veto legislative efforts to subvert his private and public workforce COVID-19 vaccine mandate and downplayed the likelihood that the president would hold a traditional end-of-year press conference.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
"I don't have a formal press conference with embroidered cushions to predict for you at this point in time," she said.