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EghtesadOnline: The main policy of the Biden administration is returning to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as the first step prelude to any diplomatic breakthrough, but the public disputes between the two sides are detrimental to efforts to advance diplomacy, a US-based political expert said.

Ali Vaez, the International Crisis Group’s Iran Project director, told IRNA in a recent interview that the current situation looks like a megaphone diplomacy, when every party tries to utilize public platforms to address the other side; in such a condition, the more time goes by, the more both sides’ stances might become harsher than ever.

Suggesting a change of policy, Vaez called on the US and Iran to put aside public talks and adopt a silent and more constructive negotiation behind closed doors. 

The Biden administration has showed little enthusiasm to push ahead the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action because political lobby groups in Washington put pressure on the government over its return to the deal and the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions, he noted.

In 2015, Republican senators did not vote for the JCPOA and the deal was not endorsed by all Democrat senators, he noted, saying that today opponents of the agreement are leading Senate majority, so they could play a key role in selecting high-ranking officials of the Biden administration.

Therefore, the US government needs congressional support to advance its programs, Vaez said, adding that US President Joe Biden waits for Congress to finalize his appointments for high-ranking officials; then, he can kick off bargaining on Iran.



Multilateral Policy


As to the multilateral policy of new US administration, the analyst said, Biden unlike his predecessor Donald Trump tries to resurrect traditional policy-making procedure of the United States in dealing with international issues, so the new president is going to coordinate with Congress and the US allies in Europe and the West Asia region.

Pointing to US representative for Iran Robert Malley’s contact with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Vaez noted that the new US administration tries to assure its regional allies the United States will pay attention to their security concerns and interests when it comes to revival of the JCPOA.

Asked about the recent session of US National Security Council on Iran, the expert explained that the American authorities put into consideration political developments in Iran given the fact that presidential election in Iran will be held in the near future. The US administration wants to know whether its return to the JCPOA is possible before the Iranian election.

The US is sensitive to language of threat and it is not keen on taking a measure under pressure, when they want to respond to Iran’s parliament that has set an ultimatum for limiting compliance with the JCPOA, he said.

According to the analyst, the Biden administration does not want to escalate tensions in the current situation, so it prefers to take a practical measure before February 21, when Iran’s ultimatum to limit broader inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency comes to an end.

The US may start negotiations with Iran in the coming days, Vaez said, noting that such an initial step to decrease tensions on the Iranian nuclear program seems to be more of a symbolic measure.


diplomacy nuclear political expert