The US president Joe Biden, who has promised to return to the Iran nuclear agreement during his presidential campaign, now seems to backslide from his initial promises due to the huge dilemma over the proposed terms, which neither side is willing to make a first move, placing the relationship between Iran and the United States hung on the wall.
Biden is trying to reform Trump’s strategy by signing a number of executive orders of his predecessor’s controversial political decisions but has not yet resolved the complex issue of Iran. He was a former vice president who played a key role in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was signed by the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany during the Obama administration.
But after Obama handed over the oval office, foolish Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement and put more pressure and sanctions on Iran, forced Iranians to step away from their commitments under the JCPOA, despite their full adherence, although one year after Trump’s ridiculous action. In another word, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions, something that never happened in reality.
When Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018, the relations deteriorated rapidly. The two countries were on the brink of World War 3 following January 2020, assassination of the Iranian top military commander in a drone strike in Baghdad by the US, coupled with the assassination of their nuclear scientist a few months after the incident in Baghdad.
Iran has made its terms and conditions to the new US administration before any review of the 2015 agreement, by stating that the US should lift off all economic sanctions and also demand compensation for economic damage done to the nation.
Ever since Biden resumed office in the White House, Iran has advised him to instantly lift off the paralyzing economic sanctions in order to reach an agreement. On the other hand, the United States seeks greater reassurance that Iran should suspend its nuclear program before there can be a revisitation of the agreement, and they are not willing to rush into a decision. From the way things are getting into shapes, it is quite difficult to foresee who will make the first step in order to materialize this deal.
Prior to the agreement, the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union had imposed sanctions on Iranian exports, mainly oil revenues, worth more than $ 100 billion.
In regard to this crucial issue, a lecturer at University College London says, Iran has this right to argue that the United States should first blend in and lift sanctions due to the carelessness of Trump withdrawing from the agreement. He further said that “It’s just going to be very difficult to sequence who moves when – Iran feels aggrieved that Trump first ripped up the deal, then decimated their economy, afterward killed one of their leading military generals. Since Trump stepped aside, they think they should morally insist that first of all, the sanctions shall be lifted. But this will be very hard for Biden to do, given Iran has significantly breached its own commitments under the JCPOA.”
Some analysis is of the opinion that the agreement will impose many restrictions on Iran, including uranium reserves, uranium levels dropped 98 percent to 300 kilograms and will not be able to exceed this limit before 2031 and also uranium enrichment levels will also be limited to 3.67%.
Christian Emery, an expert on US-Iran relations, is of the idea that from the look of things, Biden will be under intense pressure from Congress to strengthen the nuclear deal, including Iran’s ballistic missile program, human rights, and regional policies. Further explain that “Biden needs to decide whether to pursue the narrower aim of just bringing Iran back into compliance with the JCPOA or the more ambitious aims of building linkages between the nuclear deal and wider issues such as Iran’s ballistic missile program and Iran’s regional policies, and this will frustrate Iran’s demand that sanctions be removed quickly.” Emery added.
Ali Rabiei, the spokesman for Iran’s administration, warned Biden in a speech that it might be time to return to the deal, and the US is wasting time. “We are waiting for the official announcement of their position as well as the lifting of sanctions,” he said.
Anthony Blinken, in his first speech after coming to office, said Iran should “fully return to its commitments” but warned that “they are not there yet”. It is also very obvious that Biden’s challenge on Iran’s nuclear program is not only based on the Iranian demands, but definitely, he is also pressurized by external forces such as Israel and other US allies who stand in opposition to Iran.
In this regard, Tzachi Hanegbi is an Israeli politician, a national security expert and a Likud Member close to Benjamin Netanyahu said that the United States would never attack Iran’s nuclear program and that such a decision is in the hand of Israel to decide whether to carry out an attack alone or to accept the Iran nuclear program.
The declaration coincided with escalating rigidities in the region as Iran’s nuclear program continued to be a major discussion with world powers, as well as threats and warnings from the United States and Israel.
This apparently shows that Biden’s reluctant behavior toward the JCPOA is not just self-whim seeking but a result of external pressure. The Trump administration foolishly doubled its pressure since the current stalemate is obviously the heritage of this decision, while the Biden administration, on the other hand, intended to take a diplomatic approach despite opposition from Israel and its other regional allies such as Saudi Arabia, which are making it difficult for Biden to comply with the nuclear deal commitment.
Biden’s government and his administrators have shown that Israel will play a role in their decision-making process on Iran’s nuclear program, which has placed everything in a tight corner and left Biden in a state of rigidity and confusion, something that not only may cause serious effects for the United States, but also may raise the most dangerous reactions towards Israel and Saudi Arabia.
By William Holmes