Biden has to re-join the JCPOA without a moment’s delay

Biden is willing to reconsider Iran’s nuclear deal, the So-called JCPOA.

Joe Biden’s government can negotiate a return to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. Following negotiations between Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, and his British, French, and German counterparts, the US Department announced that it would consider an invitation from the EU to join a conference of members in the current deal first since Donald Trump withdrew from the pact in 2018. Blinken had previously advised Iran to facilitate continued nuclear inspectors by the United Nations and halt all atomic operations with no trustworthy nonmilitary usage.

The White House took some steps to show that they are serious about finding a diplomatic solution.

Firstly, The Biden administration has announced that it has relaxed the tight restrictions on Iranian diplomats’ travel authorised to the United Nations. The Trump administration had placed stringent constraints, which effectively restricted them to their UN mission and the UN headquarters’ construction in New York.

Secondly, Biden’s diplomatic team told the Security Council on Thursday at the United Nations that it had removed the September 2020 invocation by Trump of the so-called ‘snapback’ process in which it maintained that all UN sanctions against Iran had been reimposed. Almost all other UN members vigorously challenged the decision and left the US alone in the world body.

However, it should be emphasised that legally it is not a very substantial move, but it is a good gesture of diplomacy and indeed a positive sign for talks.

Thirdly, as opposed to the former regime, the new administration has changed its position against Iran dramatically, at least verbally.

Above all, Biden said his administration, in his address to the Munich Security Conference, was “prepared to re-enter into negotiations” with the United Nations Security Council regarding Tehran’s nuclear programme.

But the problem is this: On one hand, Iran Is sick and tired of beautiful words with empty applications. Because more than three years, the European has exactly done the same to Iran, and nothing has changed for the good. But on the other hand.

The Biden administration has repeatedly stated that it will fully comply with the agreement, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA), once Iran has implemented it.

In other words, only after Tehran reverses the atomic measures which it took to protest these sanctions will Biden lift the regressive sanctions imposed by Trump.

But time is running out.

On 21 February, Iran will stop allowing for intrusional checks by the International Atomic Energy Agency in compliance with a law passed by the Conservative parliament in December, except in US sanctions being facilitated.

Kelsey Davenport, Non-Proliferation Policies Analyst at the Washington in Arms Control Association, said Iran would easily reverse any of its actions, for example, enhancement of uranium.

When Iran was in the process of threatening to expel IAEA inspectors, Davenport was concerned to speculate that lack of access would fuel Tehran’s activities which are not desirable for the West.

However, the problem is that Biden wants some negotiation with Iran, but he does not want to abandon all of Trump’s pressure on Iran for over three years. Biden likes to use this pressure to include and bring all the issues that the West is extremely concerned about, such as ballistic missiles and the support of Iranian-sponsored militia.

Iran certainly Shall not do that, at least until the Biden administration and the West, in general, agree not to sell a tremendous amount of military equipment to Persian Gulf states and Israel. Admittedly, the arms race in the region is more difficult to discuss than the nuclear talks, and nobody is prepared for such a dialogue.

Another main date is in June when Iran is holding elections that could put a hardliner to power to replace President Hassan Rouhani, who was gambling on cooperation with the West only to see when Barack Obama was president tensions soar under Trump.

There is not a show of a doubt that with a hardliner in place, the chance for diplomacy will drop dramatically.

I believe for all reasons that I have mentioned above, Biden needs to re-join the JCPOA without a moment of hesitation for the sake of opportunity for future talks between Iran and the United States.


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