“The 360” shows you various perspectives on the main debates and debates of the day.
What is happening
The United States and Iran agreed on Tuesday on a framework for talks to bring the two countries back into compliance with the Iran nuclear deal. The indirect talks – mediated by envoys from Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain – represent the first step in what will likely be long and delicate negotiations to revive the deal.
The Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was signed in 2015 after years of negotiations between the Obama administration, Iranian leaders and representatives of other powers. global. By joining the deal, Iran has agreed to severely limit its nuclear development and allow regular inspections of its nuclear facilities. In return, the United States and other signatories lifted economic sanctions that had crippled the Iranian economy.
Despite reports from the United States and the United Nations that Iran was complying with the restrictions of the agreement, then-President Donald Trump formally withdrew the United States and reinstated tough sanctions against it. Iran in 2018. In response, Iran began to violate the restrictions of the agreement, including the enrichment of uranium to levels well beyond the limits set by the agreement. Tensions between the United States and Iran escalated in the years following Trump’s withdrawal from the deal, peaking with the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January 2020.
President Biden has said he wants to bring the United States back into the deal. Iranian leaders also want to reach an agreement. But talks stalled until recently, with the United States calling on Iran to halt nuclear activities before sanctions were lifted and Iran insisting that the United States take the first step.
Why is there debate
Supporters of the return of the nuclear deal say Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy has backfired. They argue that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a serious threat, and the evidence suggests the country is much closer to producing a nuclear bomb today than when the deal was in place. The heightened tensions have also encouraged the country to step up support for militias across the Middle East, many say. Others say the harsh economic sanctions are causing serious suffering to the Iranian people while doing little to curb Iran’s nuclear lawsuits.
Many Republicans echo Trump’s belief that the original deal was “gravely flawed” and joining it would mean wasting “enormous squeezing power” that the sanctions have given the United States on the Iranian regime. Another group, which includes a bipartisan group of senators, called on Biden to pursue a much broader agreement that addresses “a wide range of Iranian illicit behavior,” including his support for terrorist groups and human rights violations. its own citizens.
The first talks on a return to the nuclear deal were “fruitful” but are in their early stages and “will take time”, according to a Russian representative who participated in the talks. Some diplomats have expressed a sense of urgency to find common ground ahead of Iran’s next presidential election in June. President-in-Office Hassan Rouhani backs the deal, but term limits mean he cannot seek re-election and he could be replaced by a new radical leader who opposes any deal.
A nuclear Iran would pose an extraordinary threat
“A nuclear-weaponized Iran would destabilize the region, give the Islamic Republic much more influence and possibly encourage other nations in the region to pursue their own nuclear ambitions. Finally, if Iran had nuclear weapons, it might be tempted to use them in a crisis – or the fear of doing so might lead other countries to launch a preemptive strike. “- Editorial, Los Angeles Times
The US withdrawal from the deal backfired
“Despite the limited reach of the JCPOA, the Trump administration’s withdrawal in favor of the maximum pressure policy has been an abject failure. Iran was not forced to return to the table for broader negotiations, it has simply become more aggressive and now has more than eight times the stockpile of uranium authorized by the JCPOA. – Tyler Koteskey, Newsweek
Without a nuclear deal, war becomes more likely
“The nuclear deal that many members of Biden’s national security team helped negotiate is a ready-made solution to the crisis with Iran. If Biden misses this opportunity to revive the deal or if Congress ties its hands, the diplomatic door with Iran will close and the prospect of a full-fledged war will grow exponentially. – Sina Toossi and Yasmine Taeb, USA today
As long as the sanctions are in place, Iranian citizens will suffer
“With Washington and Tehran caught in a diplomatic stalemate, the Iranian people are waiting for help. A sequestered and suffocated Iran functions effectively as a state at war, reducing prospects for its women. – Azadeh Moaveni and Sussan Tahmasebi, New York Times
Joining the agreement can be a first step towards broader agreements
“The Trump years have shown that a close deal like the JCPOA cannot be stable in today’s environment. But there can be no progress without returning to it. »- Editorial, Guardian
The nuclear deal was a failure
“It was foolish to imagine that the world’s first terrorist sponsoring state, one of the most destabilizing forces on the planet, would become a responsible member of the global community if only America and its allies would agree to him. pay billions of dollars in cash and relieve the pressure of sanctions. It would be even greater folly to come back to the JCPOA and expect everything to change. “- Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe
Focusing Only on Nuclear Weapons Will Leave Iran’s Many Other Abuses Unanswered
“Iran’s dilemma is multifaceted, spanning human rights, missile proliferation, regional interference and state terrorism. If the Biden administration seeks to resolve the Islamic Republic’s 40-year nightmare, it must deal with all of these threats, not just the nuclear program. – Seena Saiedian, National interest
Joining deal would undermine Trump administration’s success in Middle East
“The administration is still courting Iran, as if the regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have shown the slightest desire to change their imperial behavior. These concessions jeopardize the progress of Abraham’s historic accords between Israel and Arab countries and the containment of Iran, where the sanctions have stoked public anger against the regime and undermined its ability to project power into the country. region. – Editorial, the Wall Street newspaper
A nuclear deal that worked in 2015 no longer makes sense
“Not only did all of the original flaws of the agreement remain, but, more importantly, the agreement was based on a geopolitical context that no longer exists.” – Raphael S. Cohen, The hill
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