Biden’s lessons from Trump’s failed confrontation with Iran

Tehran, June 7, IRNA – Former US President Donald Trump has recently questioned his successor Joe Biden’s efforts to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, while it was Trump’s own failing confrontation with Tehran that led Biden team to change course and start talks with JCPOA participants.

In a speech in the annual Republican convention in North Carolina, Trump claimed that Biden administration has cowardly lifted sanctions against Iran and if he was reelected, he would make a deal with Tehran within one week.

This is while Iran never accepted Trump’s proposal to negotiation for a new deal after he withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018. Iran has even avoided talking directly with the US after Biden administration indicated that they were willing to rejoin the deal, because Tehran believes that Washington couldn’t attend the JCPOA sessions as it has ceased its participation.

Trump’s maximum pressure policy failed

During his four year maximum pressure policy, Trump made a failing attempt to pressure Iran with covert and overt aims of regime change in Iran, changing Iran’s regional behavior and pushing to make a new deal with Tehran.

Many experts and US officials acknowledged that Trump’s maximum pressure policy failed to achieve its goals. Even Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confessed that they couldn’t force Iran to come to the negotiating table.

This was a great victory for Iran, as reflected by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, and the Iranian nations stood against maximum pressure so that the US has no way but to beg for rejoining the very nuclear deal signed in 2015.

Negative impacts of Trump’s unilateral policy

As observers say, Trump administration imposed heavy costs on the US national security by overusing sanctions tools and promoting unilateralism in the international arena, resulting in frequent failures in international organizations and alienating longstanding allies, like the European Union.

Trump administration repeatedly received heavy blows in the United Nations and the Security Council in several attempts to force other countries to follow a suit in denying Iran its rights in the JCPOA.

US draft resolution to extend UN arms embargo against Iran, which was according to the JCPOA due to expire in 2020, was thwarted in the UN Security Council with two opposing votes and 11 states abstaining, including European members.

Trump administration then gave an awkward interpretation of the JCPOA, suggesting Washington was still considered a participant of the deal despite clearly stating that it has ‘ceased to participate’ in 2018.

Based on such a weird argument, Trump administration tried to trigger a mechanism within the JCPOA to effectively kill the deal through a questionably legal process in the UNSC.

However, the chair of the Security Council along with Britain, Germany and France, firmly refused that the US has any right to do so as it was no more considered a JCPOA participant.

In another blow to US reputation, Trump administration began another attempt to revive Iran sanctions committee in the UN last year, which faced 142 opposing votes in the General Assembly and failed. 110 states voted no and 32 others abstained. The US managed to force only 10 states to vote yes.

With all that said, the new approach by the Biden administration is based more on their experience of Trump four years of failing policy against Iran than the Democratic attitude towards Iran.

That’s why Washington has sent a delegation to Vienna, where participants of the JCPOA discuss the framework in which the US can rejoin the deal, to indirectly take part in the talks and correct the wrong course.


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