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Biden works a weakened U.S. hand to negotiate way back into Iran nuclear deal

Biden works a weakened U.S. hand to negotiate way back into Iran nuclear deal, Global News, By Ellen Knickmeyer  The Associated Press,  January 18, 2021 A lot of the characters are the same for President-elect Joe Biden but the scene is far starker as he reassembles a team of veteran negotiators to get back into the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

President Donald Trump worked to blow up the multinational deal to contain Iran’s nuclear program during his four years in office, gutting the diplomatic achievement of predecessor Barack Obama in favour of what Trump called a maximum pressure campaign against Iran.

Down to Trump’s last days in office, accusations, threats and still more sanctions by Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Iran’s decision to spur uranium enrichment and seize a South Korean tanker, are helping to keep alive worries that regional conflict will erupt. Iran on Friday staged drills, hurling volleys of ballistic missiles and smashing drones into targets, further raising pressure on the incoming American president over a nuclear accord.

Even before the Capitol riot this month, upheaval at home threatened to weaken the U.S. hand internationally, including in the Middle East’s nuclear standoff. Political divisions are fierce, thousands are dying in the pandemic and unemployment remains high.

Biden and his team will face allies and adversaries wondering how much attention and resolution the U.S. can bring to bear on the Iran nuclear issue or any other foreign concern, and whether any commitment by Biden will be reversed by his successor.

“His ability to move the needle is … I think hampered by the doubt about America’s capacity and by the skepticism and worry about what comes after Biden,” said Vali Nasr, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Nasr was an adviser on Afghanistan during the first Obama administration.

Biden’s pick for deputy secretary of state, Wendy Sherman, acknowledged the difficulties in an interview with a Boston news show last month before her nomination.

“We’re going to work hard at this, because we have lost credibility, we are seen as weaker” after Trump, said Sherman, who was Barack Obama’s lead U.S. negotiator for the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. She was speaking of U.S. foreign objectives overall, including the Iran deal.

Biden’s first priority for renewed talks is getting both Iran and the United States back in compliance with the nuclear deal, which offered Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for Iran accepting limits on its nuclear material and gear…………….https://globalnews.ca/news/7583615/biden-us-iran-nuclear-deal/

January 19, 2021 - Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA

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