The meeting with the leaders of Germany, France, and Britain — known as the E3 — comes at a pivotal time, as Iran proceeds to enrich uranium to near-weapons-grade levels. Biden is attempting to restore the 2015 nuclear deal and bring Iran back into compliance with the pact that would have kept the Islamic Republic at least one year away from the potential to field a nuclear weapon.
U.S. National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, announced that the meeting with Germany's Angela Merkel, France's Emmanuel Macron, and Britain's Boris Johnson would feature the leaders "all singing from the same song sheet on this issue."
He called it a "study in contrast with the previous administration since Iran was one of the areas of most profound divergence between the previous administration and the Europeans."
The U.N.'s atomic watchdog has said Iran is increasingly violating the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear deal, and the U.S. has participated indirectly in talks directed at bringing both Washington and Tehran back into compliance. Those Vienna talks have been on pause since June, when Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took power.
Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union remain part of the deal.
The meeting will occur while the leaders are in Rome for the Group of 20 summits, the first stop on Biden's five-day foreign trip. He's going to a U.N. climate conference in Scotland.
Biden was welcomed to the summit site by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and joined his counterparts for the customary "family photo" before attending the opening plenary session on the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery.
Saturday's meeting occurred just days after Ali Bagheri, Iran's deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator for the talks, tweeted that Iran has agreed to restart negotiations by the end of November and a date for a resumption of talks "would be announced in the course of the next week."
Sullivan announced Thursday that the U.S. was still attempting to decide whether Iran was serious about the negotiations.
"It's not entirely clear to me yet whether the Iranians are prepared to return to talks," he told reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden flew to Rome for the Group of 20 summits. "We have heard positive signals that they are, but I think we have to wait and see when and whether they show up at the negotiating table."