Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity "is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
Insanity is exactly what we've been seeing in the Biden administration's approach to Iran's nuclear weapons program, and it's no joking matter. But Biden officials could soon put an end to put this insanity.
Ignoring Iran's documented cheating on the weak 2015 nuclear deal with Iran (the JCPOA), the Biden administration has been obsessed since Inauguration Day with reversing President Donald Trump's prudent withdrawal from this agreement.
In February, Biden officials offered to meet with their Iranian counterparts to discuss America returning to the JCPOA but were snubbed when Iran rejected the offer. Talks with all JCPOA parties began in Vienna in April, however because Iran refuses to meet with U.S. officials, these have been "indirect" talks, with European diplomats ferrying proposals between the U.S. and Iranian delegations at separate hotels.
An eighth round of indirect nuclear talks began in Vienna this week. The U.S. and European states keep participating in these talks despite a huge surge in Iran's nuclear program this year and its refusal to cooperate with International Atomic Energy Agency inspections. Iran also has refused to compromise in the talks and continuously makes outrageous demands.
The 2021 surge in Iran's nuclear program includes enriching uranium for the first time to 60% uranium-235 — just short of weapons grade — and reports that it will soon begin weapons-grade enrichment. Since January, Iran has denied the IAEA access to uranium mines and a plant that makes nuclear centrifuge parts. It also refuses to cooperate with IAEA investigations of sites where evidence of covert nuclear activities has been discovered.
And in September, the IAEA reported that Iran physically harassed female IAEA inspectors.
Despite these and other Iranian belligerent actions and provocations, Biden officials floated a proposal in November for a partial deal with Iran in which the U.S. would offer some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran freezing part of its nuclear program. This idea went nowhere after Israeli officials and members of the U.S. Congress condemned it as appeasement and giving in to Iranian nuclear blackmail.
Iran's demands at the Vienna talks have centered on the U.S. dropping all sanctions — including terrorism-related sanctions — before it will discuss its nuclear program and the 2015 nuclear deal. Iranian officials also are insisting on a U.S. promise that no future U.S. president will again withdraw from the JCPOA if it is reinstated — a commitment no president can make.
Iran resumed its unreasonable demands at this week's Vienna meeting when it called for all U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports be lifted before it would discuss its nuclear program. Iran's chief negotiator also asked the U.S. and Europe to guarantee that Iran would never again be sanctioned.
Iran also offered this week to limit its uranium enrichment to 60%. European states viewed this as an absurd offer because they said "60 percent enrichment was still unprecedented for a state without nuclear weapons."
American and European diplomats have tried to put a good face on this week's talks, but they reportedly are extremely frustrated with Iran's foot dragging and refusal to negotiate in good faith. As a result, a senior U.S. official said yesterday that Iran has "weeks, not months" to strike a deal or face "stepped-up coercive measures." According to the official, this week's talks in Vienna are the last chance for a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear program.
Will the Biden administration actually walk away from the farcical Vienna talks on Iran's nuclear program or will it continue the insanity of holding more of these pointless discussions and hope for a good outcome?
So far, too many of Joe Biden's policies have not been based on reason or U.S. interests but were instead driven by ideology and reversing Trump policies. These factors certainly have been behind the Biden administration's stubborn determination to strike a new nuclear deal with Iran despite its belligerent and destabilizing behavior.
But now, with the huge surge in Iran's nuclear program in 2021 and months of Tehran making a mockery of the Vienna talks, Biden officials might be ready to begin a new policy of tough sanctions and diplomatic isolation of Iran until it is ready to negotiate on its nuclear program in good faith.
This would essentially mean President Biden would drop his insane Iran policy and return to President Trump's maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Although Mr. Biden would view this as humiliating, let's hope he sees the wisdom of making such a policy reversal.
Fred Fleitz is a Newsmax TV Contributor. He previously served as National Security Council Chief of staff, CIA analyst and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.
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