Nominee for US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman stressed the importance of addressing Iran's nuclear ambitions, its support for terrorism and human rights violations.
Speaking at her Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Sherman promised a new approach to Iran.
"With respect to Iran, as the lead of the US negotiating team for the JCPOA, I remain clear-eyed about the threat that Iran poses to our interests and those of our allies," Sherman said in her opening remarks.
She went on saying that the approach of the new administration must “be decided on the merits of where we are today," not nostalgia for what might have been.
The world had changed since 2016, when the deal was implemented, stressed Sherman.
“The facts on the ground have changed, the geopolitics of the region have changed, and the way forward must similarly change,” she noted.
Sherman said she did not know what the administration’s ultimate Iran policy would be, but stressed that Biden was determined not to let Iran obtain a nuclear weapon.
“Iran is a long way from compliance (with the nuclear agreement), as we well know,” she said.
For his part, Senator Jim Risch, the panel’s top Republican, also called for bipartisan policy and said he opposed a return to the nuclear pact.
He stressed that Iran was testing the Biden administration, saying that Tehran should not be trusted.
“Rejoining the old nuclear accord is a non-starter as far as I’m concerned – it does not meet US national security interests," Risch noted.
“The Biden Administration must demonstrate that it has learned from the mistakes of the past."
Sherman was State Department counselor from 1997 to 2001, when she was also policy coordinator on North Korea. From 1993 to 1996 she served as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs.