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Tags: iran | nuclear talks

Time to End Nuclear Talks as Iran's Tool for US Humiliation

iranian flag behind a nuclear symbol
(Dreamstime)

Fred Fleitz By Friday, 02 September 2022 03:41 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Just as U.S. and European diplomats said they were a few days away from a new nuclear deal with Iran, Iranian officials spoiled the party yesterday by responding to the latest draft of the agreement with what a European official described as “a disappointing response ... and definitely an unreasonable one.”

It seems the $1 trillion in sanctions relief this deal would give Iran by 2030 plus an immediate $7 billion in cash were not enough for Iran’s ruling mullahs.

Iran’s new demands reportedly are a guarantee that a future U.S. president will not withdraw from a new agreement and a halt to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigations of evidence of covert nuclear weapons work.

This is part of cycle we’ve seen throughout the Biden administration’s efforts over the last 17 months to negotiate a new agreement that reverses President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the flawed 2015 nuclear deal, the JCPOA. This cycle goes has gone this:

  • First, we’re told there’s only weeks left for a new agreement.
  • Next, U.S. and European officials say a new agreement is only days away.
  • Then at the last minute, the draft deal crashes after Iran makes unreasonable demands, often walking back things it agreed to previously.
  • Finally, diplomats return to the negotiating table for weeks or months of more talks to negotiate another agreement that Iran won’t accept. The cycle starts over.

We’ve seen this cycle repeat several times over the past 17 months. For example, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in June 2021 that the world had “months at best” to get a new nuclear deal with Iran.

Six months later, Western diplomats claimed they had only weeks left to negotiate a new nuclear deal. Last February, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, “It's not a matter of weeks, it's a matter of days" for a new deal with Iran. That same month, U.S. officials said they were in the “final stretch” for a new nuclear agreement and only had until the end of the month.

And over the past two weeks, U.S. and European officials claimed a new nuclear agreement is “days away” and “is coming any day now.”

Meanwhile, Iran has used the 17 months of deadlocked negotiations to surge its nuclear program, including enriching uranium to 60% uranium-235 for the first time, a level much closer to weapons-grade.

Iran installed highly advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium since President Biden entered office that will allow it to enrich larger amounts of uranium at a faster rate. The IAEA warned this week of a major expansion in this effort in a new report.

Congress is fed up with Iran making a fool of the United States with this cycle of rejecting increasingly generous (and dangerous) U.S. concessions while using the negotiations to buy time to expand its nuclear weapons program.

A group of 30 House Members — an unprecedented 34 Democrats and 16 Republicans — sent a letter to President Biden yesterday expressing their “deep concern” about U.S. concessions in the draft nuclear deal, especially lifting terrorism-related sanctions.

Thirty-three Republican senators sent a letter to the president on August 8 expressing their grave reservations with the draft deal and demanding it be submitted for approval by Congress.

In addition, over 5,000 former senior Israeli defense officers sent a letter to President Biden this week asking him not to sign a new nuclear deal with Iran which they believe would be a “windfall to Iranian terror.”

It is no secret why the United States has continued nuclear talks with Iran despite its refusal to negotiate in good faith: Biden is obsessed with reversing President Trump’s withdrawal from President Obama’s nuclear deal, the JCPOA, a decision that is looking better and better due to Iran’s violations of the JCPOA and other malign behavior.

President Biden must cut his losses on Iran’s nuclear program. His effort to rejoin the JCPOA with a “longer and stronger” deal have failed. It is now clear that if there ever is a new nuclear agreement, it will be shorter and weaker.

This is no time to give Iran $1 trillion in sanctions relief. Biden should instead immediately adopt a new policy to increase sanctions on Iran and isolate it as long as it continues to destabilize the region and expand its nuclear program. There should be no further nuclear talks with Iran until it agrees to negotiate in good faith and commit to truly and verifiably halt its nuclear weapons program.

There’s a name for such a policy: “Maximum Pressure” — the approach to Iran taken by President Trump after he withdrew from the JCPOA. If President Biden does adopt this approach, don’t expect him to concede that President Trump was right.

Fred Fleitz is a Newsmax TV Contributor and vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security. 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.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Fred-Fleitz
Just as U.S. and European diplomats said they were a few days away from a new nuclear deal with Iran, Iranian officials spoiled the party yesterday by responding to the latest draft of the agreement with what a European official described as "a disappointing response..."
iran, nuclear talks
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2022-41-02
Friday, 02 September 2022 03:41 PM
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