United States President-elect Joe Biden wants to get his country back to Iran’s nuclear program deal before engaging in negotiations with Tehran, defending diplomacy to ease bilateral tensions.
In an interview with the New York Times, the Democrat said that “it will be difficult”, but if Iran resumes the nuclear deal, the United States will again join the pact as a starting point for further negotiations.
“The best way to achieve some stability in the region” is to take over Tehran’s “nuclear program”, said Biden in an interview published on Wednesday (2), in which he warned of the threat of a race to produce the atomic bomb in the East Medium.
In 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 by his country, China, Russia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Iran to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons.
The Republican president argued, at the time, that the deal was insufficient to prevent Tehran’s “destabilizing” behavior and has again imposed strong economic sanctions on Iran, much to the chagrin of its European allies, who are trying to save the pact. As a result of Trump’s decision, Iran has stopped complying with some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear activities.
If Washington and Tehran abide by the agreement, “in coordination with our allies and partners, we will enter into negotiations and follow-up agreements to tighten and extend the nuclear restrictions imposed on Iran and to deal with the Iranian” missile program, “explained Biden.
In the new negotiations, in which the future president wants to incorporate regional rivals from Iran, such as Saudi Arabia, Iranian activities in the Middle East will also be addressed.
A new balance of power
Biden’s strategy involves lifting Trump’s sanctions in return for a return to the 2015 text, negotiated when he was vice president of Barack Obama.
The current government, which has pledged to multiply sanctions to the end, has asked the new government to “enjoy” its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. Former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the future president would commit a ” serious error “if” you throw yourself in the arms of ayatollahs “.
The same New York Times editorialist with whom Biden spoke, Thomas Friedman, warned last week of the consequences of a simple reversal in a Middle East that is no longer the same.
“Israel and the Arab Gulf allies will not want the United States to give up its favorable balance of power” just to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions without using it “to make Iran commit to cease its exports of these missiles. “precision, which, for them, are a more imminent threat, wrote Friedman.
The assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27, near Tehran, which the Islamic Republic attributes to Israel, was a reminder of the obstacles the Democratic leader may face.
Like Friedman, Alex Vatanka of the American think tank Middle East Institute believes that “Biden should try not to waste the favorable balance of forces created by Trump’s maximum pressure campaign”. But according to him, “nobody in Iran thinks Biden is a slob”: “Everyone is waiting for him to make the most of the situation”, at least to ward off the nuclear threat, which he considers a priority.
The 2015 agreement “is hurt, damaged, but still follows,” and reviving it “does not mean sacrificing other issues, it is just a hierarchy of priorities,” argued Naysan Rafati, of the conflict prevention organization International Crisis Group.
“The president-elect and his team seem to have come to the conclusion that strengthening the foundations of this agreement first is a better way of addressing other issues than putting everything on the table at the same time, at the risk of solving nothing,” he added.