The one that gets away: Joe Biden’s jaded romance with Iran

Despite reverberating in Iran, a negative reaction from that country’s supreme leader killed hopes that Biden’s remarks would yield a diplomatic breakthrough. Still, the speech, and the mere fact that Biden gave it, was emblematic of his approach to the Islamic Republic throughout his decades in public life. In fact, years before Barack Obama ran for president on a platform that included reaching out to adversaries like Iran, Biden was calling for engagement with the Middle Eastern nation, meeting with its top diplomats and even flirting with a visit. At one point, a critic derided him as “Tehran’s favorite senator.” A POLITICO review of available records, speeches, and congressional statements found that when it came to Iran, Biden has long tried to walk a careful path, one that is wary, yet hopeful; politically aware, yet politically risky; and often focused on incremental gains in the hopes of seeding long-term results.