Breaking: Experts urge Biden to break with Trump ‘failed Iran policy’, return to JCPOA
More than 50 foreign policy and national security experts have called on US President-elect Joe Biden to break with Donald Trump’s “failed Iran policy” and rejoin the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.
In a letter addressed to Biden and his incoming administration on Friday, the experts expressed their full support for the new US government to “make a clean break” from Trump’s ‘maximum pressure campaign’ and return Washington to the diplomatic path and full compliance with the deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“In 2017, President Trump inherited an enviable position on Iran. Iran’s nuclear program was no longer a source of major security concern, while there was a prospect to broaden diplomatic negotiations to address pressing security concerns in Syria and Yemen. Instead, Trump unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA over the objections of close allies while Iran was still compliant with the accord.”
“This self-inflicted wound set the US on a destructive path with no easy offramp. The US and Iran moved to the precipice of war twice, Iran expanded its nuclear leverage to counter America’s sanctions,” the letter read.
The nuclear agreement was signed in 2015 between Iran and six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — and was ratified in the form of Security Council Resolution 2231.
However, Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and reinstated the anti-Iran sanctions that had been lifted by the deal.
The Trump administration also unleashed the so-called ‘maximum pressure campaign’ and targeted the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” restrictive measures.
As the remaining European parties failed to fulfill their end of the bargain and compensate for Washington’s absence, Iran moved in May 2019 to scale back its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the deal covering Tehran’s legal rights.
In recent months, Washington has been tightening its oppressive sanctions, defying warnings from the Islamic Republic and international human rights organizations that the restrictions are severely hampering the Iranian health sector’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Elsewhere in their letter, the experts warned that any delay by the Biden administration to return to the negotiating table will cause the US to lose the last opportunity to definitively break with Trump’s policy and risk allowing the window to negotiate with Iran to close entirely.