The United States & Iran Will Work to Complete a New Nuclear Deal in the Coming Weeks
The Biden administration continues to work through European Union allies to negotiate a new deal with Iran to limit their nuclear program, bringing them back into compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] signed during the Obama administration. After former President Donald Trump abandoned the JCPOA and reimposed sanctions, Iran began to ramp up their nuclear program. Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were never able to force Iran to accept terms more palatable to Israel and Republicans in the US Senate, and the other signatories to the JCPOA remained committed to the original agreement. So, it became a mess that Biden has been forced to clean up.
The Biden administration has been negotiating [through EU 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 and by how much. 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. So far, both sides appear to want a deal, but neither wants to show weakness.
To complicate matters, Iran elected the hardline judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi as Prime Minister yesterday. There are no indications that he would oppose a deal, but all sides believe it would be preferable to get it done before he takes office in early August.
Axios: "The Biden administration wants to finalize a deal with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal in the six weeks remaining before a new Iranian president is inaugurated, a U.S. official tells Axios. The official said it would be "concerning" if talks dragged on into early August, when Iran's transition is due to take place. "If we don't have a deal before a new government is formed, I think that would raise serious questions about how achievable it's going to be."
Without an agreement, Iran will continue to rebuild its nuclear capacity, eventually reaching a point where Israel and the United States would be forced to consider military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, igniting a wider war in the region. Such a war might serve the purposes of Saudi Arabia and hardliners in Israel, but it's clearly not in America's best interests.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content