This past weekend felt like deja vu from the Trump Administration.
President Biden bombed Syria on Friday, becoming the latest contestant in the endless tit for tat proxy battle between the U.S. and Iran. Meanwhile, prospects for a swift and straightforward return to the Iran nuclear deal — the first step necessary to get back to diplomacy with Iran — have become increasingly complicated as Iran rejected talks proposed by the EU.
Nobody said the situation Biden inherited on Iran would be easy. But just one month into the Biden administration, the opportunity to turn the page on Trump’s disastrous Iran policy and pursue a diplomacy-first approach is dwindling fast.
So far, each positive step towards diplomacy by the Biden administration has been accompanied by a step backwards from the negotiating table. Biden’s commitment to return to the nuclear deal was quickly overshadowed by his team’s statements implying Iran must move first–despite it being the U.S. who exited the accord. Biden’s team eventually welcomed negotiations to return to the nuclear deal brokered by the EU, but then worked with Europe on a plan to publicly censure Iran before the invitation was accepted.
Now, we see the escalatory cycle of military action and proxy attacks continuing in earnest. The challenge will only increase as Iran enters its election season in April and selects a new president this summer. Without a restored Iran deal, opportunities for engagement on human rights and other issues so important to us will only grow more elusive.
Join us in urging President Biden to swiftly restore America’s obligations and put an end to Trump’s abrogation of the Iran deal and punishment of ordinary Iranians. Biden must replace the counterproductive public blame game and regional escalations we are now witnessing with serious, private diplomatic efforts to facilitate a mutual return to the deal and diplomacy. And Biden must acknowledge the damage Donald Trump did to U.S. credibility in abandoning the accord and provide necessary assurances to Iran that the U.S. is serious about lifting sanctions this time.
The onus is on us. Biden must seize the moment and his administration must take bold, decisive action to save the deal and get back to table. Until Biden takes concrete action, his administration will own Trump’s disastrous maximum pressure policy and all it entails. There is still time, but Biden must reevaluate his approach and take real action to course correct before it is too late.Back to top