Biden’s offer to save the Iranian agreement is on its hind legs


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But time may be running out for a meaningful opening with Iran. The extensive US sanctions imposed on the Iranian economy by the Trump administration are still in force. Meanwhile, the Iranian regime continues to enrich uranium at levels higher than prescribed by the 2015 agreement, under which Tehran says the United States was first abolished. “In public, both sides continue to wait for the other to prove its goodwill with the rhetoric ‘you, first,'” my colleagues Karen DeYoung and Kareem Fahim wrote earlier this week.

“We could go tomorrow,” a senior administration official told them. “But we’re not going to cut corners to fix it properly.”

In the background, however, questions are growing about the appetite of either side to actually come to a new distribution. The White House is wary of a possible reaction both in Washington and in some parts of the Middle East if it gives in to Iran. His slow approach to the situation has alarmed some proponents of rapprochement, who recognize the need to move “quickly” before conditions become even more unfavorable for diplomacy. But she was cheered on by people not as likely as Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and former envoy to the Middle East, who greeted Biden. recently released for calling it an “Iranian bluff”.

Iran may not be bluffing. Although sanctions have hit the country’s economy hard, the regime itself has done so proved to be relatively resilient. The upcoming June elections are expected to make the government stronger than it currently exists – which could complicate the Biden administration’s desire not only to return Iran to a nuclear deal, but also to expand the debate to other issues such as Iran’s use of mediation forces in the Middle East. east, his program of ballistic missiles and holding political hostages.

Wally Nasr, Professor of International Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, told Today’s worldview that the longer the stalemate drags on, “the more Iranians come to the conclusion that the US is unwilling to ease sanctions” and that it will be harder for Biden not only to save the nuclear deal, but also to push for further agreements with Iran sought by the United States and its allies.

In interview with Politico this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Iran would consider other U.S. concerns after Washington lifts sanctions related to the nuclear deal, but suggesting the scenario is not close. “What we see as American politics is exactly the same as the Trump administration; we have not seen any changes in policy, ”he said.

Biden officials point out that this is not the case. Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign has failed … and should be a thing of the past,” Robert Malley, the administration’s special envoy to Iran, he told the BBC’s Persian service on Thursday.

He said the administration wants to “get into a position where the United States can lift sanctions again and Iran returns in line with its nuclear obligations under the agreement.” Malley added that the Biden administration is open to talks with the Iranians on the way forward, but not necessarily in the sequence that Tehran wants – with sanctions lifted first.

The diplomatic process is “not that easy,” Malley said. “It’s not like turning on the light switch.”

In a separate interview, Malley indicated it was an Iranian election they did not count on U.S. budgets. But they are likely to influence those of the country’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, who may be seeking a change of guard. “Khamenei worries that an early economic opening could reverse the tide of public opinion in favor of a moderate-reformist camp by giving the Iranian people hope,” recorded a report published by the Atlantic Council. “Although at the moment it seems that the turnout for the presidential elections on June 18 will be historically low, the breakthrough with the United States could turn into a bigger show that would work against Khamenei’s plan to set a hard line in the presidential office. “

Amid dizzying talks in Iran about the country’s relative success regime that shatters the “resistance” economy, some analysts suggest that US leverage over Iran could be reduced in the coming months. “Conservatives aligned with the supreme leader are determined to prove to the West and their domestic rivals that Iran will continue to challenge American hegemony in its neighborhood despite sanctions and maximum pressure,” written by Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, professor of economics at Virginia Tech. “If anything else, this group claims, sanctions will help Iran reduce its dependence on oil and the West.”

Iranian skeptics in the West do not pay much attention to the theater of Iranian domestic politics. But their enemies in Iran claim similarly. “Many in Washington think it doesn’t matter who wins the Iranian election,” Nasr said. “Ironically, many in Tehran say the same about the United States.”

The Progressives in Washington are becoming increasingly impatient with Biden’s perceived maturation about Iran and deplore the administration’s decision to bomb Iranian proxies in Syria in response to alleged Iranian attacks on U.S. positions in Iraq. It seems that some officials in the Biden administration “bought the argument that Trump’s sanctions give us leverage that we can use to get concessions from the Iranians,” Joe Cirincione, former president of the Plowshares Fund, a nonproliferation group, he said to the left-leaning Jewish currents.

But the current phase of escalation – including wave of attacks from the Houthis linked to Iran in Yemen – makes future talks all the more complex. “The dilemma for Biden’s team is that they have a lot on their plate,” Nasr said, pointing to competition with China and Russia, a coronavirus pandemic and a tense U.S. domestic policy. “We would like the Middle East to be less important, but the current political approach to Iran gives way to the Middle East creating a bigger problem.”


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