Biden Plans to Reenter Iran Nuclear Deal Without New Conditions, May Rollback Sanctions
The New York Post: Biden’s negotiations with Iran “would involve the US lifting the President Trump-era sanctions.”
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Joe Biden plans to reenter the Obama-era nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran if he takes office next month, he told the New York Times in an article published on Wednesday.
Biden told the NYT that under his administration, “in consultation with our allies and partners, we’re going to engage in negotiations and follow-on agreements to tighten and lengthen Iran’s nuclear constraints, as well as address the missile program.”
He suggested a Democrat-run White House will also offer the lifting of sanctions on Tehran as part of the negotiations.
President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and placed crippling economic sanctions on Iran, the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.
The New York Post reported the comments made by the Democratic presidential candidate:
[Biden] made the admission during a wide-ranging interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who pressed Biden on where he stood with regard to Iran.
Asked if he still stood by a September op-ed he authored where he argued in favor of rejoining the Obama-era accords “as a starting point for follow-on negotiations,” Biden said he did.
“It’s going to be hard, but yeah,” he remarked. At the time, he had argued that, “if Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations” under his presidency.
The next steps would involve the US lifting the President Trump-era sanctions.
Biden’s overtures to the Mullahs in Iran come amid a coordinated campaign by the European Union and the European powers, namely the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, to revive the Obama-sponsored nuclear agreement. Earlier this week, a group of influential European politicians and diplomats issued a statement calling the “incoming Biden administration” to draw a “road map” for the U.S. reentry into the nuclear deal, European media reported.
The left-wing UK daily Guardian on Tuesday reported the European efforts to lobby the Biden team:
France, Germany and the UK must move quickly to set out a roadmap for Iran and the incoming Biden administration in the US to come back into compliance with the nuclear deal, some of Europe’s leading diplomats have said. (…)
The statement has been signed by the former UK Middle East minister Alistair Burt; the former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt; Wolfgang Ischinger, the former German ambassador to the US; Jean-David Levitte, the former French ambassador to the US; the former Nato secretary general Javier Solana; and the former Polish foreign minister Andrzej Olechowski. (…)
On Monday it was announced that the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal – France, Germany, the UK, Russia, Iran and China – will meet at joint commission level in Vienna on 16 December to discuss how to keep the deal alive.
The diplomats hope their roadmap, and the key role given to Europe to act as a mediator, can be picked up at that meeting and help overcome the sequencing difficulties that face any reopening of the negotiations.
The statement, coordinated by the European Council on Foreign Relations, urges the E3 to call first on the Biden administration, once inaugurated, to announce that the US will rejoin the nuclear deal, and then for the US and Iran to agree on steps for mutual recompliance.
The EU’s short-sighted commercial interests drive its clamoring for the revival of the nuclear deal. The European players have long been eying multi-billion deals in Iranian oil, manufacturing, and infrastructure sectors once the U.S. sanctions come down. President Trump’s campaign of ‘maximum pressure’ on the regime has forced most European companies and big investors to flee Iran.
A possible Biden-Harris administration, which is more favorable towards Tehran, could mean a cash windfall for the Mullah. India, the second-biggest buyer of Iranian oil before the sanctions kicked in, is again talking of resuming shipments if Biden takes office.
Reuters on Wednesday reported India’s plans to resume oil purchase from rogue regimes of Iran and Venezuela under a possible Biden administration:
India wants to diversify its oil imports, including the resumption of supplies from Iran and Venezuela, after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden takes office, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.
India was the key buyer of Iranian and Venezuelan oil before slashing purchases after President Donald Trump imposed unilateral sanctions on the two OPEC-members since taking office in 2017.
“As a buyer I would like to have more buying places. I should have more destinations to go for purchasing (oil),” Pradhan said in response to a question if he wants the Biden administration to relax sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
Biden’s comments come as President Trump is turning the heat on the Iranian regime. Three weeks ago, a joint U.S.-Israeli counter-terrorism operation killed Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who found a haven in Iran.
The man known as the “father of the Iranian bomb,” Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated outside Tehran last week. The U.S. and Israel have not commented on the killing.
Iran has repeatedly violated the 2015 nuclear deal, enriching illicit weapons-grade uranium and developing a ballistic missile program capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Thrilled by the mainstream media reports declaring Democratic candidate Joe Biden winner in the U.S. presidential race, Iran’s Mullahs are rushing ahead with their nuclear weapons program.
Reassured by the media narrative of Biden’s victory, Iran is ramping up its nuclear weapons program. Last month, the nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium had crossed the 2,440kg-mark, 12 times higher than the permissible limit. The amount is “theoretically enough to produce two nuclear weapons,” BBC reported.
EuroNews TV: ‘EU Leaders look to Biden administration to revive 2015 [nuclear] deal.’
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