US President Joe Biden may be bringing a lot of inconsistency in global politics with his disruptive and often imprudent manoeuvres. But there is one thing that remains truly consistent- Biden’s ability to disappoint.
During his poll campaign, Biden made a number of disastrous proposals. Re-entering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran Nuclear deal is one of them. But geopolitical analysts expected that once in power, Biden would behave sensibly. Yet, the US President has shown a tendency to effectuate his disastrous proposals and now it seems that he is actually going to push the Middle East closer to war with his Iran policy.
As per a latest Bloomberg report, the Biden administration has announced that it would be willing to discuss a “diplomatic way forward” as a part of its efforts to re-enter the JCPOA which was quit by Donald Trump in the year 2018.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, “The United States would accept an invitation from the European Union High Representative to attend a meeting of the P5+1 and Iran to discuss a diplomatic way forward on Iran’s nuclear program.” P5+1 is, of course, a reference to the five Permanent UNSC members- the US, the UK, Russia, France and China, and Germany.
The latest announcement to initiate diplomatic talks has also been accompanied by a formal repudiation of Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy against Iran. While exiting the JCPOA, the Trump administration had announced that all sanctions against Tehran stood reimposed. But now the Biden administration has reversed Trump’s 2018 determination and the consequence is that the US is going to ease stringent restrictions on the domestic travel of Iranian officials posted to the UN.
So, Biden has effectively restored the pre-2018 US foreign policy vis-a-vis Iran. And this is exactly how Biden might end up pushing the Middle East at the brink of war. The point here is that Biden thinks of himself as some sort of an ace diplomat. But he doesn’t realise the importance of the sanctions which Trump had enforced on Iran. They were the only means of keeping Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in check.
Now, Biden has relented to Iranian pressure and has eased restrictions against the Iranians. But this is going to embolden Iran like never before. Make no mistake, the Shi’ite nation has no intention of upholding the JCPOA obligations. If Iran has not been able to move towards acquiring nuclear arsenal, it is only because Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy destroyed it politically and economically.
Yet, as Biden moves towards reinvigorating the JCPOA, the net effect is that Iran can go back to the old ways of misusing the flawed Nuclear deal. Tehran can easily increase its nuclear stockpile beyond the prescribed limits by fooling the world powers, just like it used to do before 2018 as well. Moreover, removal of sanctions will make Iran much more competent to move quickly towards a successful nuclear programme.
Bidens’s actions are already causing agony in Israel, which perceives Iran as an existential threat and has devoted much time and energy in ensuring that the Shi’ite nation is not allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has already expressed worry and has also conveyed that “going back to the old agreement will pave Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal.” Netanyahu’s office also made it clear that the Jewish nation remains “committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons” and that it is in close contact with the US on this matter.
And then, Israel is not only country that remains concerned. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) too remain concerned about Iran. These two US allies consider the Shi’ite nation as the biggest threat to their national security and would not at all fancy a nuclear-powered Tehran pointing its weapons towards them.
Biden has stirred the hornet’s nest by embracing Iran and easing restrictions on Iranian officials. Going ahead, the US President would start removing sanctions against Tehran and this is likely to put the Middle East on the course of a long and bloody war.