Iran Backs Biden Into A Corner Over Nuclear Deal

( President Joe Biden spent his first week in office signing more than three dozen executive orders focused on critical race theory and climate issues, but the reality of leading a country is finally starting to kick in as he faces increasing pressure to take action on his bonkers campaign promise of re-entering the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal.

Under the deal, pushed by the Obama-Biden administration, Iran was required to limit its enrichment of uranium and curb activity related to the development of its nuclear problem. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal after Iran repeatedly broke its own promises, and because the Obama deal allowed Iran to perform its own checks to ensure they were abiding by the conditions of the deal.

Iran, which recently announced plans to enrich uranium to 20% in violation of the deal which is still in place with other Western nations, has signaled a willingness to re-enter the agreement with the United States so long as President Biden lifts the sanctions put in place by President Trump.

The Iranian parliament set a deadline of February 21 for European signatory states to ease their sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking industries. Tehran says that if the sanctions are not lifted by that date, then UN nuclear inspectors will no longer be allowed access to their facilities and they will increase their uranium enrichment.

The Biden administration has said that re-engagement with Iran was an urgent matter, though details have not yet been announced.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told the press on Friday that engaging with Iran is a “critical early priority.”

If President Biden sticks to his campaign promise, he plans to negotiate a new “longer and stronger” deal with Iran. And if the 2015 deal is anything to go by…well…it might just be terrible.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, however, recently indicated that discussions with Iran about a new deal are not imminent.

“Iran is out of compliance on a number of fronts and it would take some time, should it make the decision to do so, for it to come back into compliance in time for us then to assess whether it was meeting its obligations,” Blinken said on Wednesday. “So we’re not there yet, to say the least.”

President Biden is now faced with the decision between letting the February 21st deadline passing by, and Iran enriching uranium to levels that could allow their nuclear weapons program to gain traction…or caving to Iran before the deadline and proving President Trump right that Biden’s team don’t know what they’re doing.

Ali Vaez from the International Crisis Group indicated recently that President Biden may issue an executive order (he likes those!) that rescinds President Trump’s withdrawal, and then quickly direct the State and Treasury departments to review Iranian sanctions.

So…who goes first?