The Biden administration has been in a hurry to dismantle or reverse everything that President Trump did. This is creating several crises—both actual and perceived. The latest such effort is starting indirect talks with the Iranians with the stated hopes of returning to the Obama administration brokered controversial nuclear accords of 2015. The accord reduced sanctions against Iran in exchange for the country reducing its stockpile of enriched uranium needed to fuel nuclear weapons. However it left a 10 year path to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran.
A renewed accord could be one of several events leading to increased instability in the middle-east. The administration is already sweetening the Iranian pot by providing its Palestinian authority proxy an estimated $250 million in aid. Aid that the Iranians, due to the Trump sanctions impact, is hard pressed to provide. Why are we giving the Palestinians money when they will then have no intention of rapprochement with Israel? Hamas and Hezbolah are Iranian proxies and are fueled by economic and military support by both Iran and the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the Israelis probably just attacked an Iranian supply ship off the coast of Yemen causing it great damage. This could make negotiations more difficult and of course that is the Israeli purpose.
The Israelis are adamantly against the Obama nuclear deal as it gave the Iranians a pathway to nuclear weapons. The reaction was the Saudis leaning towards their own nuclear capability and a series of reproachments between the Israelis and several Arab states. With reproachments with Qatar and Saudi Arabia it gets much easier for the Israelis to attack Iran. This may be why the Biden administration is making noises of trying to walk back US support for these agreements. Doing so would greatly upset the situation in the middle-east, but maybe that is what the administration wants, for some reason.
Going back to the indirect talks between Iran and the US the two sides are separately calling their first day of indirect nuclear talks “constructive” — despite Tehran refusing to allow the US to attend unless it lifted sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
The State Department said: “It is a potentially useful step as we seek to determine what it is that the Iranians are prepared to do to return to compliance with the stringent limitations under the 2015 deal, and as a result what we might need to do to return to compliance ourselves.”
These comments came shortly after those of Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, who also called the meetings “constructive” and on “the right track.”
Making the reversal of the Trump administration isolation of Iran could have a severe impact on the region. The Trump policy sought to reverse tension in the region and to force the Palestinians to negotiate a two-state solution to the issues between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The Obama policy and therefore most likely the Biden administration policy will seek to return to the isolation of Israel approach. The resultant turmoil and the Iranians becoming emboldened and having increased resources from the ending of sanctions would most likely cause the Israelis to conduct pre-emptive strikes on Iran.
The huge question at that point would be: What will be the posture of the Arab states in the region? They might just side with Israel. How could the US then not but remain neutral? It couldn’t side with Israel, having created the problem in the first place and siding with Iran would be politically impossible.
As one looks down the slippery slope that the return to the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement could cause he must wonder why the Biden administration is even considering it? But the administration is so set on erasing all things Trump they may not be able to see the slope. It is also terribly important to restore the Obama legacy.