Obama Redux: Iran Nuclear Deal Architect on Joe Biden’s State Department Team

President Barack Obama meets with advisors to prep for a bilateral meeting with President Michel Sleiman of Lebanon at the United Nations in New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2013. Standing with the President from left are: Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; Amb. Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent …
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration boasts a distinctly Obama-esque feel to it, with ex-career diplomats and veterans of the Obama administration named on Saturday to bulk up his State Department team.

The Associated Press (AP) reports Biden, who has been a Washington fixture since he was first elected to the Senate in 1972, will nominate Wendy Sherman as deputy secretary of state.

She served as lead negotiator for the flawed Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) accord signed under Barack Obama and John Kerry after previously brokering a nuclear deal with North Korea under Bill Clinton.

Sherman contributed in her role as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs between September 2011 and October 2015.

Iran has already said it anticipates a rapid return to the JCPOA agreement.

Elsewhere Victoria Nuland, a former career diplomat, is nominated as undersecretary of state for political affairs with the pair taking the second- and third-highest ranking posts, respectively.

They were among the 11 officials announced to serve under the incoming secretary of state, Antony Blinken, who previously praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open borders policy that opened the doors of Europe more than a million refugees.

Blinken’s confirmation hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, on the eve of Biden’s inauguration which is already looking like a festive gala featuring Hollywood stars and hopefuls.

The team “embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works with our allies,” Biden said in a statement. He added he was confident “they will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America’s global and moral leadership. America is back.”

According to the AP, among the others expected to feature are:

  • longtime Biden Senate aide Brian McKeon, to be deputy secretary of state for management. That deputy position has been vacant for some time and McKeon and Sherman are expected to share duties as the department’s No. 3 official.
  • former senior diplomats Bonnie Jenkins and Uzra Zeya, to be under secretary of state for arms control and undersecretary of state of democracy and human rights, respectively.
  • Derek Chollet, a familiar Democratic foreign policy hand, to be State Department counselor.
  • former U.N. official Salman Ahmed, who also served as head of strategic planning in the Obama National Security Council, as director of policy planning.
  • Suzy George, who was a senior aide to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, will be Blinken’s chief of staff.
  • Ned Price, a former Obama NSC staffer and career CIA official who resigned in protest in the early days of the Trump administration, will serve as the public face of the department, taking on the role of spokesman.
  • Jalina Porter, communications director for Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., who is leaving Congress to work in the White House, will be Price’s deputy.

Price and Porter intend to return to the practice of holding daily State Department press briefings, according to AP. Those briefings had been eliminated under the Trump administration.

Jeffrey Prescott, a former national security aide when Biden was vice president, is Biden’s pick to be deputy ambassador to the United Nations. He would serve under U.N. envoy-designate Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Biden boasted the State Department nominees “have secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory.”

As Breitbart News reported, Biden is reportedly readying a blitz of executive orders and legislation for action on his first ten days in the White House.

Topping the list is “rescinding the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries … extending pandemic-related limits on evictions and student loan payments, issuing a mask mandate for federal property and interstate travel.”

Upon taking office, the president-elect will also rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and restore funding for the World Health Organization while demanding masks be worn by every American for 100 days.


The Lancet medical journal for one is already applauding the Biden inauguration as a chance for the “restoration of the global standing of the USA.”

“President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration is a fundamental reset and refocus of priorities,” the UK-based journal’s editors insist in a recent editorial covered by Breitbart News, “giving a chance for renewal and revitalisation of science and health agendas, and restoration of the global standing of the USA.”

AP contributed to this report

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com


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