President Biden thinks he can get a foreign policy win by restarting relations with Iran and rejoining the nuclear agreement. His team is considering baby steps to get there — with the intent of testing Iran and keeping the agenda from becoming an issue in American politics.
Some of those steps might include lifting sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran stopping its enrichment of uranium.
By restarting some parts of the deal, President Biden hopes to get Iranian leaders back to the negotiating table.
In the past, Iran has broken key provisions by enriching uranium to 20% — above the 3.67% cap but under the 90% needed for weaponization — increasing its pile of less-enriched uranium.
Trump’s former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley sent out a tweet recently slamming any possible action by Biden:
“The Biden White House must see the realities of 2021, not 2015. That means no sanction removals for a regime that has only increased its dangerous actions.”
But Biden might still take smaller steps before ending sanctions completely. For example, the U.S. has been blocking Iran from accessing IMF relief funds, or maybe he could allow Iran to gain access to EU credit.
Iran will have presidential elections this June, so President Biden will likely have to hurry. A new Iranian President means a potential kicking out of UN inspectors and full bore weapon production. It also means Biden might be much more willing to appease Iran by making fast, unilateral moves to get a foreign policy win.
President Biden gets nothing by being strict with the Iranians. But he gets the world’s admiration if he signs another pointless nuclear agreement.