Biden administration reaffirms US opposition to Iranian nuclear weapon
WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) – State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated the Biden government’s opposition to Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon.
“Joe Biden was very clear” and “we will not support a nuclear-armed Iran,” Price said when he briefed reporters on Thursday
“Our approach,” Price continued, emphasizing that the new administration’s approach is “diplomatic” to “ensure that Iran can never acquire a nuclear weapon.”
Even if diplomacy is the Biden government’s approach (and there is no obvious reason to doubt it), it is unclear why Price would gratuitously reassure Tehran in this regard. It was, after all, the US-led attack on Iraq that overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime and caused Tehran to suspend its nuclear program in 2003.
The Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), was signed by the Obama administration in 2015. Iran agreed to counterfeit its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. Other countries – the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council: Great Britain, China, France and Russia, and Germany – are also parties to the JCPOA.
However, critics complained that the JCPOA had made too many concessions to Iran and would not prevent it from building a nuclear weapon. In 2018, Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement and again imposed sanctions on Iran.
As Trump’s national security advisor at the time, Amb. John Bolton, Kurdistan 24 stated that one of the JCPOA’s major flaws was that Iran could enrich uranium – albeit at a low 3.67%. However, that percentage could be increased if Iran so decides.
Bolton described this concession as a “fatal flaw”. Having only the right to reactor-grade enriched uranium gave Iran an “essential” step in building a bomb, he said.
Continue reading: John Bolton: The US should have done more for Kurds. Iran remains the greatest threat in the Middle East. It’s difficult to go back to the 2015 nuclear deal
Since the US withdrew from the JCPOA, Iran has failed to meet a number of its obligations under this agreement. In January, Iran began enriching uranium to 20%, the level it had prior to the conclusion of the JCPOA and well above the level allowed in this agreement.
Most recently, the International Atomic Energy Agency informed its members on Wednesday that Iran had produced a limited amount of uranium metal. This material can be used to build an atomic bomb, and the JCPOA prohibits Iran from “producing or acquiring plutonium or uranium metals or their alloys” for 15 years, ie until 2030.
The IAEA announcement prompted France and Russia independently to issue warnings to Iran on Thursday.
“We understand the logic of their actions and the reasons that prompt Iran,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. “Nevertheless, it is necessary to show restraint and a responsible approach.”
A spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry said with less empathy for Tehran: “In order to preserve the political space for a negotiated solution, we urge Iran not to take any new measures that would further worsen the nuclear situation. including recent reports from the IAEA. “
In addition, France, Germany and the UK, all parties to the JCPOA, said in a statement released on Friday: “We urge Iran to immediately stop these activities and not take any new, non-compliant steps regarding its nuclear program.
“By escalating its violations, Iran is undermining the possibility of renewed diplomacy to fully achieve the goals of the JCPOA,” the E3 statement continued.
The US and Iran are currently stuck in the next step. Iran has stated that the US must lift sanctions before it can meet its JCPOA commitments again. In a kind of allusion to Washington, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, who spoke on CNN last week, went so far as to claim that European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell could “choreograph” the actions of the US and Iran together they restore the nuclear deal.
However, the Biden government rejected this proposal, claiming that Iran must take the first step.
Continue reading: The US is cool about Iran’s proposal for a coordinated return to the JCPOA. wants to address more than just the nuclear problem
Indeed, Price reiterated that position on Thursday: “If Iran resumes full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, we will do the same.”
In addition, the US will seek to “extend and strengthen the provisions of this agreement,” Price said, and then add at least two other topics to the agreement: the Iranian missile program and its support for proxies in the region.
The Biden administration has said it will reverse Trump’s unilateralism and return to the US traditional stance of working closely with allies. This is how it seems to handle the Iranian nuclear challenge – as evidenced by successive warnings from various parties to Tehran.
To what extent this approach will prove to be effective remains to be seen. So far, Iran has responded by defiantly claiming that the US must first return to the JCPOA and lift the sanctions.
Adaptation by John J. Catherine