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‘The Iran deal is dead. Washington must move on,’ says Mideast expert

Ben Taleblu of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy described the JCPOA as “a mere Faustian bargain.”

Negotiators meet in Vienna to discuss the  Iran nuclear deal, May 2021. Source: Enrique Mora/European External Action Service/Twitter.
Negotiators meet in Vienna to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, May 2021. Source: Enrique Mora/European External Action Service/Twitter.

On the fifth anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy’s senior fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu says reviving it remains unlikely.

Signed in 2015, the deal was one of the major foreign-policy achievements of former President Barack Obama in an effort to hold nuclear weapons at bay and attempt to normalize ties with the Islamic regime.

Ben Taleblu, an expert on Iran, said: “Five years on, the JCPOA continues to have been the wrong decision at the wrong time: a premature lifeline thrown to the Islamic Republic when multilateral economic pressure had been working.”

Taleblu rejected the idea that former President Donald Trump’s choice to extricate America in May 2018 from the Obama administration’s signature policy agreement had in any way accelerated Iran’s nuclear efforts.

He said, “To think everything is a reaction to May 8, 2018, is to fundamentally fail to understand why Iran wants a nuclear weapon or at least weapons option to begin with. … Not only did the JCPOA fail to put Iran’s nuclear program in a box, but it failed to withhold relief until it could verify Iran’s program was entirely peaceful. This is precisely why the atomic archive, and more, were missed.”

Taleblu described the JCPOA as “a mere Faustian bargain.”

He pointed out that despite the ongoing goal of the Biden administration to reinvigorate the deal these past three years, Tehran’s demands of the West have caused an impasse in international talks.

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