The last time we checked in on the Iran deal talks in Vienna, they were basically… broken. There was no further movement toward any sort of deal, which is kind of amazing because you’d think that having someone currently being considered for a war crimes trial in charge of the situation would have ironed out all of the wrinkles quickly. And yet there was no further progress. But is there now a sign that the Iranians have seen the light and might be willing to give Joe Biden the deal he is so desperately longing for? Well… possibly. But before the Mullahs are going to commit to anything, they’d like Biden to go ahead and start lifting the sanctions on Iran today. And then maybe they’ll come back to the table later on. (Reuters)
U.S. President Joe Biden should lift some sanctions on Iran to show his goodwill towards reviving the international nuclear agreement with Tehran, Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Sunday.
Iran and the United States have engaged in indirect talks in Vienna over the past year to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement which then-U.S. President Donald Trump left in 2018 and Iran subsequently violated by ramping up its nuclear programme.
Negotiations have now stalled as Tehran and Washington blame each other for failing to take the necessary political decisions to settle remaining issues.
There are quite a few people who are keen to see these negotiations get back on track and have a deal finalized. Chief among those cheerleaders is the aforementioned Vladimir Putin who stands to cash in on this in a big way if this deal happens. And at the moment, he could really use the money.
To be fair, the Iranians aren’t drawing a firm line in the sand and saying that the offer has to be in the form of sanctions relief. They would also accept an offer to have Joe Biden release all of their assets currently frozen in foreign banks. They didn’t mention if they would need the money flown over in cash on pallets the way Obama did it. But I’m sure they’re willing to be flexible.
The only potentially alarming part of these developments is the possibility that our crack team who have been tasked with handling all of this in the least transparent way possible might actually go along with it. I understand how ludicrous that probably sounds and I hope it’s not even being considered, but how could we write this off entirely? We’re already dealing with a terrorist-sponsoring nation that literally fired rockets into one of our consulates in Iraq in the middle of the negotiations. The rockets were courtesy of the Revolutionary Guard, who are reportedly being considered for removal from the terror watchlist at the request of Iran. And the moderators for the negotiations are from the same nation currently committing massive war crimes on a daily basis in Ukraine.
Any of those factors should have been a total deal-killer, but somehow the American team manages to look the other way. That’s how badly Joe Biden wants to complete this deal and reenter the agreement with the Iranians. And why does he want this? Would it give the United States and our allies some advantage or enhance world security? Of course not. He wants it because he needs to check off another box on his list of campaign promises, no matter how destructive the results may be. It’s the reason the withdrawal from Afghanistan was such an unmitigated disaster. It’s the same reason the Keystone Pipeline was destroyed on day one of his presidency, leaving us sitting here today and really wishing we had that extra million barrels of oil per day flowing in from a country that actually likes us.
All of these foolish maneuvers were ill-considered political promises to be ticked off of the list. And being able to send out Jen Psaki (or whoever replaces her) to proclaim that “another campaign promise has been kept” is prioritized above avoiding any destruction left in the wake of those kept promises. So with all of that for context, ask yourself this question one more time. Do you honestly feel confident that Joe Biden won’t just start dropping the sanctions on Iran while getting nothing in return? I can assure you that I don’t.