Explainer

Biden wants back in Iran nuclear deal as negotiations near end

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Officials around the world have warned that time is running out to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. While the U.S. has not participated directly in the negotiations, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the United States plans to build on the progress other countries have made. The United States lost its seat at the table with Russia, China, France, Germany, the U.K. and Iran when former President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018.

The agreement–also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)–required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and allow inspections of its facilities in exchange for sanctions relief.

LONGWORTH: AS IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM GROWS…

“IT SEEMS PRETTY CLEAR THAT THEIR PLAN IS TO TRY TO BUILD MORE LEVERAGE BY EXPANDING THEIR NUCLEAR PROGRAM.”

LONGWORTH: AND THE POTENTIAL FOR WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION INCREASES…

“IRAN IS ENRICHING IN MUCH HIGHER LEVELS–GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO WEAPONS-GRADE URANIUM…”

LONGWORTH: YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING –

WHAT, EXACTLY, IS IN THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL?

LET’S GET THIS STRAIGHT.

IN 2015, SIX DIFFERENT COUNTRIES–INCLUDING THE US–MADE A DEAL WITH IRAN.

IT HAPPENED DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

THAT DEAL–ALSO CALLED THE JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION–WOULD LIFT SANCTIONS *IF* IRAN SCALED BACK ITS RESOURCES TO THE POINT WHERE IT’D TAKE THEM A YEAR TO BUILD A NUCLEAR WEAPON.

THEORETICALLY, A YEAR WOULD BE ENOUGH TIME FOR OTHER COUNTRIES TO RESPOND TO SUCH A THREAT.

THE DEAL ALSO ALLOWED INSPECTIONS OF IRAN’S NUCLEAR FACILITIES.

AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED…UNTIL 2018.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP PULLED THE U.S. OUT OF THE DEAL, SLAPPING SANCTIONS BACK ON IRAN.

DONALD TRUMP: “THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM, GERMANY, FRANCE, RUSSIA AND CHINA TO RECOGNIZE THIS REALITY. THEY MUST BREAK AWAY FROM THE REMNANTS OF THE IRAN DEAL.”

LONGWORTH: PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID HE WANTED A WHOLE NEW AGREEMENT BECAUSE THE RESTRICTIONS DIDN’T LAST LONG ENOUGH OR GO FAR ENOUGH TO RESTRICT IRAN’S OTHER BEHAVIOR.

MANY CONSERVATIVES AGREE.

NILE GARDINER: “IT’S A HUGELY FLAWED DEAL THAT DOESN’T COVER IRAN’S SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM, ITS BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAM, ITS CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS CAPABILITY OR ITS APPALLING HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD.”

LONGWORTH: BUT A NEW DEAL WASN’T FORMED, AND IRAN REBUILT ITS SUPPLY OF URANIUM.

NOW PRESIDENT BIDEN WANTS TO REVERSE COURSE AND REENTER THE AGREEMENT.

BUT THAT’S PROVEN TO BE EASIER SAID THAN DONE.

THE US LOST ITS CHANCE TO DIRECTLY PARTICIPATE IN THESE NEGOTIATIONS WHEN IT PULLED OUT OF THE DEAL, LEAVING GERMANY, FRANCE, BRITAIN, CHINA AND RUSSIA AT THE TABLE WITH IRAN.

NOW, JUST IN CASE TALKS FAIL, THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION SAYS THEY *ARE* PREPARED…

JEN PSAKI: “IF DIPLOMACY CANNOT GET ON TRACK SOON AND IF IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM CONTINUES TO ACCELERATE, THEN WE WILL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO TAKE ADDITIONAL MEASURES TO FURTHER RESTRICT IRAN’S REVENUE PRODUCING SECTORS.”

LONGWORTH: GOT IT STRAIGHT?

LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS AND MAKE SURE YOU HIT THE STRAIGHT ARROW BIAS METER.

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Officials around the world have warned that time is running out to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. While the U.S. has not participated directly in the negotiations, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the United States plans to build on the progress other countries have made. The United States lost its seat at the table with Russia, China, France, Germany, the U.K. and Iran when former President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018.

The agreement–also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)–required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and allow inspections of its facilities in exchange for sanctions relief.

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