Iran Won’t Renew Its Nuclear Deal with the U.S. under Any Circumstances

March 23 2020

A favorite refrain of many experts on the Islamic Republic is that the regime is divided between “moderates,” and “hardliners.” While such divisions indeed exist, both groups—contrary to the claims of these experts—support terrorism, obtaining nuclear weapons, and the destruction of Israel. The moderates of Iran do not share the political vision of the West; rather, explains Ray Takeyh, the moderates (or modernizers, as he calls them), favored the 2015 nuclear deal in order to acquire more advanced nuclear technology under better economic circumstances. They therefore have little reason now to support a less favorable agreement, or even a return to the 2015 terms:

The success of the modernizers means that a critical constituency that supported the previous diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear issue is no longer inclined toward compromise. The modernizers are in charge, and they will not concede on capabilities that they have struggled to bring online over the past few years. The Trump administration is sensibly insisting on an agreement that shuts down Iran’s enrichment plants, something that Ali Akbar Salehi [the modernizing head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran], and his cadre will not accept.

Joe Biden, like the other Democratic presidential candidates, has talked of returning to an agreement that is already disappearing as its many sunset clauses [begin to go into effect]. If the Democratic nominee wins in November and wishes to negotiate an extension of those restrictions, that effort will be met with a wall of resistance from Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.

In today’s Iran, neither the political class nor the scientific establishment wants a new nuclear agreement. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the hardliners don’t believe that the sanctions are the primary cause of their financial predicament and insist that they can revive the economy by isolating it from global markets. They are wrong, and it makes them impossible interlocutors for enterprising Americans. In the meantime, Salehi is on the verge of modernizing a nuclear infrastructure that can produce bombs quickly and, he hopes, without getting detected. All this means he will not yield to any proposed restrictions.

It is time we abandon the delusion of arms control and focus on undermining a regime that has lost its popular mandate. The Islamic Republic is bound to follow other discredited ideological experiments of the 20th century into the dustbin of history. Instead of chasing another agreement, we must adopt Ronald Reagan’s famous dictum: we win; they lose.

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Read more at National Review

More about: Ali Khamenei, Iran, Iran nuclear program, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy