If the Biden administration is serious about the JCPOA

Flag of Iran; public domain image

If the Biden administration is serious about getting the JCPOA (the Iran/nukes deal) up and running again (as it appears it does), it will need to reject external interference.

And there will be plenty of that. One such example came on Saturday, when the French president suggested Saudi Arabia ought to be allowed to join the conversation. By necessity, not to mention correctly, the Iranian government rejected that idea. The original parties to the talks should remain the only ones at the table whenever they are renewed.

The administration also will need to address Iran’s demand that economic sanctions be lifted before Tehran agrees to slow down its nuclear program. The president will hear plenty of criticism from the right (don’t forget, the former president instituted the crippling sanctions), but Biden’s calculus has to be something like this: Is it better to have Iran working with him or against him in the effort to curtail nuclear ambitions across the Middle East? Whatever political sway the Americans had over the Iranians was lost when the former president decided Tehran needed to be treated as a pariah. Biden will have to restore some good will if the JCPOA is to be resuscitated.

Stifling the rhetoric that will emanate from Washington will be impossible. Biden’s requirement is to state clearly what he’s willing to do and why.

The clock is ticking.

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