The Biden Administration is Wise to Rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal
As we and most Middle East experts warned from the outset, former President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] was a monumentally bad idea. The plan was to withdraw, impose punishing sanctions on Tehran, and then hope that the Iranian government would be forced to accept revised terms more palatable to the US and Israel that addressed their missile program and support for groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon. Some conservatives believed [hoped] the sanctions would cause such economic hardship that the people of Iran would take to the streets and overthrow the government [Syria 2.0].
The obvious problem with Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign was that it depended on a lot of "hope" and not much real intelligence. Moreover, those that cooked up the plan [those that brought you the Second Iraq War] never explained what would happen if Iran retaliated by pushing forward with their nuclear ambitions. And, even now that Tehran is again ramping up their nuclear program and stockpiling uranium, hawks in America and Israel aren't willing to admit that they always envisaged war as the likely outcome. They have good reasons not to discuss their plan B; nobody wants to hear about another war in the Middle East or the chaos that would follow.
USA: "The American public, however, is disenchanted with endless wars across the political spectrum. Most Americans want to avoid new wars, end existing ones and take U.S. foreign policy in a more peaceful direction. A recent poll by YouGov and The Economist also found that nearly two-thirds of Americans support “direct negotiations” with Iran over its nuclear program, including a massive 84% of Biden voters."
So, the Biden administration is negotiating [through intermediaries] a resumption of the nuclear deal in return for specific and verifiable compliance with limits on Iranian uranium enrichment. So far, the biggest stumbling block to reviving the deal is who moves first. Iran wants relief from sanctions before it returns to compliance. US negotiators want Iran to reduce its uranium enrichment to previously agreed levels before it removes sanctions. And Israel's April 11th attack on Iran's Natanz nuclear facility didn't help with building trust between the parties. So, working out a face-saving compromise hasn't been easy, but most observers expect some agreement within the coming weeks. That is wise.
To be clear, the JCPOA isn't a perfect solution, it's a temporary fix, but it's still the best idea that anyone has come up with so far. Actually, it's the only realistic idea that doesn't suck America into another "forever" war.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content