Reviews | Revival of the Iran nuclear deal is vital, even during the war in Ukraine
To that end, Enrique Mora, European Union coordinator for Iran nuclear deal negotiations, recently visited Iran to help salvage a deal stuck in political quicksand in Washington and Tehran. Earlier this month, the US Senate, including members of Biden’s Democratic Party, passed a measure calling for a deal with Iran to also cover non-nuclear issues – an almost certain dealbreaker. Meanwhile in Tehran, the appetite for a deal is waning as hardline President Ebrahim Raisi boasts that he has doubled oil sales since taking office last August, despite US sanctions.
Although the negotiations on the essence of the agreement have indeed been concluded, the Europeans are trying to break the deadlock on the question that continues to cause cringe: the designation by the United States of the Revolutionary Guard Corps Iranians as a foreign terrorist organization. This designation is a largely symbolic measure that has little or nothing to do with the dispute over the nuclear program. Washington and Tehran would be foolish to allow domestic ideological positions to sabotage a nuclear deal that has – against all odds – managed to survive Donald Trump’s presidency.
Europeans have supported President Barack Obama’s diplomatic efforts in Iran, protested Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and are once again at the forefront of diplomatic efforts to end the nuclear crisis with Iran. Iran and avoid another disastrous war in the Middle East. It is disconcerting, then, that after launching a return to the nuclear deal and promising that “America is back,” Biden has slowed down diplomacy that US allies strongly support. The common refrain is that he is “playing it safe” on Iran ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. But frankly, being the president under whose watch efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear efforts have succeeded would be a far greater success for Biden and Democrats ahead of the 2024 election.
Tehran’s intransigence is also an ongoing problem. Although Raisi boasts of increased oil exports, the Iranian people remain under increasing economic pressure. The unjust imprisonment of Europeans, even during Mora’s visit, is another affront to Europe. Iran’s regional stance continues to undermine Western security interests. Yet all of these issues will become more difficult to manage if we are dealing with an Iran not bound by the constraints of a nuclear deal.
The West did not enter into arms control agreements with the Soviet Union because we supported the country’s leadership or sought to normalize relations. We did it because it benefited our national security. The same goes for Iran. Biden needs to seriously consider the costs of his passivity on Iran and find a way forward — or we could end up in another conflict no one asked for.
Discover the life of a family whose husband and father are held hostage in Iran. The new Post Opinions short film shows the ordeal to set him free: