Biden admin “prepared to take the steps necessary” to return to Iran deal, giving up leverage to negotiate

Biden admin “prepared to take the steps necessary” to return to Iran deal, giving up leverage to negotiate
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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President Joe Biden is seeking to remove sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, to return to compliance with the Obama administration’s 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“We are prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the JCPOA, including by lifting sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA,” State Department spokesman Ned Price stated. “I am not in a position here to give you chapter and verse on what those might be.” JCPOA refers to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the original name of the 2015 deal. 

The news sparked hundreds of Iranian-American activists urging Biden to not ease sanctions on Iran until the regime in Tehran ends its human rights abuses, Fox News reported. 

"Your administration’s impactful actions must be directed towards blocking the Iranian regime’s violation of human rights, and their export of terrorism in the region and beyond," the letter from more than 300 American-Iranians reads. "As you craft your policy, defending human rights and democracy in Iran should be the central and enduring element of your policy on Iran."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States and the international community on Wednesday that Israel will not accept any deal allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons. 

“A nuclear agreement with Iran is again on the table, but history has taught us that agreements like this with extremist regimes are worth as much as garlic peel,” Netanyahu said. “To our best friends I say – an agreement with Iran which paves its way to nuclear weapons that threaten us with destruction – an agreement like this will not bind us.”

“Only one thing binds us, to prevent those who seek to destroy us from carrying out their plans. During the Holocaust, we did not have the power to protect ourselves and we did not have the privilege of sovereignty. We had no rights, no state, and no defense,” he added. “Today we have a state, we have the power to defend ourselves and we have the natural and full right as the sovereign state of the Jewish people to protect ourselves from our enemies.”

National security expert Tim Morrison, who was on former President Trump’s National Security Council, told the Daily Wire in February that the Biden administration is giving up leverage over Iran as it attempts to reinstate the “dangerously flawed” deal. 

“The Biden Administration is repeating the mistakes of the Obama Administration,” Morrison said. “It’s making concessions to get nothing more than a meeting. The Iran deal was dangerously flawed in 2015. In 2021, with key provisions expired, it’s simply national security malpractice to return to that deal. The Trump Administration bequeathed Biden tremendous leverage over Iran—it must not squander it.”

Andrea Stricker, Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated that Americans should expect to see an “Obama nuclear deal redux.”

“The Biden administration will remove sanctions against Iran’s supreme leader, terrorist entities, and illicit financial sector, to name a few,” she said. “The JCPOA is premised on sanctions relief for Tehran’s terror machine in return for quickly expiring nuclear limits. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s investigation into Iran’s nuclear activities will be quietly shelved. It will be up to Congress and the American people to say no to this capitulation. Indefinite restraints across all of Iran’s malign activities are needed, including the release of hostages.”

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  • By Ezra Levant

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