The US has to stop pretending the last four years didn’t happen to revive the Iran nuclear deal

Building up any kind of trust or goodwill is the only way that a deal can be restored, writes Borzou Daragahi

Sunday 28 November 2021 16:24
<p>Joe Biden’s hand in nuclear talks weakens as approval ratings slide </p>

Joe Biden’s hand in nuclear talks weakens as approval ratings slide

How much easier it would be for the western diplomats, senior officials, and many others monitoring or commenting on the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme to just pretend that the past four years didn’t happen.

If Donald Trump hadn’t pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and hadn’t launched a campaign of “maximum pressure” that derailed Iran’s economy and shifted its politics to the right, if Israel hadn’t assassinated Iranian military scientists and sabotaged its nuclear facilities (Israel does not acknowledge such activities although it is consistently blamed by Iran), then they could condemn Iran’s breaches of the deal and transgressions with righteous indignation. They could blame Tehran for the impasses and delays and make strident, hectoring demands on Iran on the eve of resuming talks over the possible restoration of the flailing nuclear deal.

Iran “must” return to the negotiating table and get back into compliance with the deal and its nuclear obligations, “must” do this and “must” do that. “Iran must resume implementation of the Additional Protocol,” Stephan Klement, the European Union’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, wrote on Twitter. “Treatment of inspectors in Iran must be consistent with IAEA agreement on privileges and immunities.”

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