#71 Team Washington and the JCPOA

“I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy,” Mr. Biden wrote in a September op-ed for CNN. “If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal (JCPOA), the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations.” Biden’s “credible path back to diplomacy” appears to have a few strings attached.

The Obama, I’m sorry, the Biden foreign policy experts are back in town. They are in charge with the handling of the JCPOA “re-negotiations”. Their negotiating tactic includes what Gareth Porter refers to it as good ole American “coercive diplomacy.” But the experts may have a flawed logic stream. 

Selective memory sometimes infects the Washington diplomatic corps. It’s perplexing that, “If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal” is the basis for returning to the JCPOA agreement. Did they “forget” that the US violated the deal first and Iran had observed all of the JCPOA’s provisions for about two years after the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement. 

My memory tells me that it was not until the Trump administration reintroduced old sanctions (outlawed by the agreement) and the introduction of new sanctions aimed at preventing Iran from exporting oil did Iran breach its responsibilities of the nuclear deal. 

In reality, the US entered into an JCPOA agreement and then it broke a promise with a partner. By quitting the JCPOA promise, the US divorced itself from the relationship. But now wants Iran, the spurned partner, to make the first move toward reconciliation. Washington may even be looking for Iran to sweeten the deal by insisting on more concessions that were not part of the original deal.

Iran is holding firm on the original JCPOA agreement. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif recently explained, “The time for the United States to come back to the nuclear agreement is not unlimited.” Zarif goes on to say, “The United States has a limited window of opportunity … The United States has to accept what we agreed upon.”

Washington’s propaganda continues to misrepresent the order of events and their motive. “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.” 

By declaring that Iran needs to “return to strict compliance” just to establish a “starting point for follow-on negotiations” is disingenuous. This is Washington double-talk for, “the hell with the agreement we signed,” let’s “right” the “wrongs” of the 2015 JCPOA agreement. 

The “rights” and “wrongs” of the 2015 JCPOA agreement may be solidified later this month. Israeli newspapers have reported that Israeli Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and his team will present the Biden administration with, “information gathered by Israel on the progress of Iran’s rogue nuclear program”.  

Cohen appears to be Israel’s messenger. Israeli news reports indicate that Cohen will instruct Biden of Benjamin Netanyahu’s (Prime Minister of Israel) demand “that Iran must halt the enriching of uranium; stop producing advanced centrifuges; cease supporting terror groups, foremost Lebanon’s Hezbollah; end its military presence in Iraq, Syria and Yemen; stop terror activity against Israeli targets overseas; and grant full access to the IAEA on all aspects of its nuclear program.” This would be a radical overhaul of the 2015 deal with far more nuclear stringent commitments with new intrusive dictates. 

Why coercive diplomacy? Have the experts fallen in love the Trump sanctions? It’s always nice to have your boot on the neck of the Iranian economy. Maybe it’s just Biden’s turn to grovel to the wishes of Israel? After all, Team Washington always follows the “next guy up” and “do your job” tradition. 

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