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Biden’s Return to JCPOA: Challenges and Priorities

2020/11/24 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online - An expert on international affairs believes that containment of China and reshuffle of US strategy in the Middle East are Biden’s top priorities. Although prior to the return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) there are other issues among Biden’s priorities, however, there is the possibility that he would return to the JCPOA sooner than the expected time.

Dr. Rahman Ghahremanpour, an international affairs researcher, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, saying that Donald Trump’s defeat as a result of the vote count in the US and Joe Biden’s victory has not only raised the issue of election fraud but also escalated his hostile policies towards Iran, noted: In this regard, the Trump administration has announced that a flood of new sanctions is on the way and Washington intends to coordinate with Israel and impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran to make it difficult for Biden to return to the JCPOA.

Referring to the problems that Biden’s administration would face, he said: Once Joe Biden enters into the White House he would be faced with some difficulties. In the first place, with regard to Biden’s age it is predictable that he would be a president of a single four-year term and, in other words, his time is limited for the implementation of great activities and for leaving a lasting legacy. Therefore, Biden does not have much time with regard to Iran’s case.

He continued by saying that in the meantime the four-year term would mean for foreign countries that they might not enter into long-term interactions with the US administration and would wait and see who would be the president of the United States in 2024.

According to the expert on international affairs, the second responsibility of the Biden administration is that, given his personal approach and age, the US bureaucracy and even the ministers are likely to play a greater role than the Trump’s and Barack Obama’s administrations and be effective in decision-makings. In other words, the decision-making will be multifaceted, and governments that intend to enter into negotiations with the US would have to negotiate with a variety of decision-makers. In the meantime, the issue of Iran and the JCPOA is no exception to this rule, and we would probably be witness to polyphony in this regard as well.

The expert continued: Another challenge is related to Trump himself, who has several dimensions; first, Trump is trying to bring the legitimacy of the US elections under question, which is considered as a threat to Biden, who is to enter the White House in two months. Biden would no longer have the necessary authority, especially in foreign negotiations if Trump’s challenges would not be over and he continues to claim the election fraud. Of course, this is unprecedented in the US in the past century and this is the first time in the past 130 years that an incumbent president is refusing to concede defeat.

Referring to the fact that Trump would possibly intend to attract the attention of senior Republicans for becoming ready for 2024 elections, Ghahremanpour said: Although this scenario is far beyond expectation and the Republican Party will possibly not to accept such a risk, given our knowledge of Trump it is not unlikely that he would use the money in his possession for gathering a number of people around himself, for setting up a television network, and for continuously criticizing the Biden administration for the next four years with the hope that he would return to the scene in the 2024 elections and win the result. In that case, it is natural that the situation before Biden would become highly complicated and his administration would be under the pressure of the public opinion and Trump’s supporters in order to reach an agreement with other countries and return to the JCPOA.

In reply to the question on how important JCPOA will be for Biden as an achievement of the Democrats and how much he would try to return to the agreement given Trump’s stonewalling, Ghahremanpour said: Despite the fact that we in Iran think that the JCPOA has a top priority for Biden and his next administration, a glance at the overall scene of the challenges facing Biden shows that return to the JCPOA is not one of his priorities as it can be said that containment of China and reorganization of US strategy in the Middle East are Biden’s top priorities.

He added: Of course, this does not mean that the JCPOA is not important, rather it means that perhaps Biden’s administration would not be after spending a lot of time on holding negotiations for returning to the JCPOA. But, if he intends to do so he would return to the JCPOA sooner than we think and would resolve this issue faster than what is expected.

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