Biden May Move U.S. Closer to 2015 Nuke Deal with Iran; Tehran Continues to Breach Nuke Deal Terms

U.S. President Elect Joe Biden will move the U.S. closer to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, say foreign policy experts and those close to him. In a recent op-ed Biden said that he would rejoin the deal if Iran returned to strict compliance with it. “First, I will make an unshakable commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” he said. “Second, I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy.” Biden warned, however, against Iran’s “destabilizing activities, which threaten our friends and partners in the region” and said he is prepared to defend U.S. interests and troops if Iran chooses confrontation over peace. Reported by Fox News. Read more… Former National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster warned Biden that “It would be a really big mistake to turn the clock back to 2016 and resurrect the nuclear deal.” Calling the deal a “political disaster masquerading as a diplomatic triumph,” McMaster told Fox News’ Special Report that Iran used the money paid as part of the deal, and made as a result of sanctions relief, “to intensify sectarian violence across the region in an effort to put a proxy army on the border of Israel.” Reported by Fox News. Read more… Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has also spoken out against a return to the 2015 deal, saying “There must be no return to the previous nuclear agreement. We must stick to an uncompromising policy to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.” Reported by Reuters. Read more… On November 17, however, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would fully implement its 2015 nuclear deal obligations if President-Elect Joe Biden lifts the sanctions on Iran. Zarif said Biden could lift the sanctions with “three executive orders.” Reported by Reuters. Read more…

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s U.N. ambassador dismissed the idea Biden would return to the deal, saying nobody would be “naïve enough” to do so. Reported by Fox News. Read more… Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, says he is “confident that a Biden administration would continue to pursue policies that are in the interest of regional stability,” adding, “Any discussions we will have with the future administration will lead to strong cooperation.” Reported by Reuters. Read more…

President Elect Joe Biden’s cabinet picks will have a significant impact on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. One of those picks, Antony Blinken, opposed designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization when he was deputy secretary of state and deputy national security advisor under former President Barack Obama. Reported by Fox News. Read more…