If Biden, Then What, on Iran? | Opinion

If Biden, Then What, on Iran? | Opinion

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast," wrote Alexander Pope in An Essay on Man. Such sentiment describes perfectly the lingering adherents of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement known as the JCPOA. Indeed, two-plus years of American sanctions and Iranian nuclear violations have not convinced the deal's defenders—chiefly in Europe—of the need to look past an accord that is dead in all but name. Earlier this month, those devotees gathered to stress the importance of "preserving" the JCPOA. Their hope? The election of Joe Biden, an upending of President Donald Trump's Maximum Pressure policy against Tehran and the forging of a pathway back to the JCPOA. Luckily for them, the Democratic candidate for president appears ready to deliver. Writing for CNN this Sunday, Biden promised to "offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy" and American re-engagement with the 2015 deal should Iran opt for "strict compliance." Biden's latest writings on Iran reveal that the post-Cold War trend of American presidents doing the exact opposite of their predecessors on foreign policy, and seeking political dividends for doing so, would continue if the Democrat is elected. Lest we forget, Bill Clinton's liberal internationalism reversed George H.W. Bush's one-term realism, and George W. Bush campaigned for a more "humble" foreign policy—later amended by 9/11, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the "freedom agenda." In turn, Barack Obama's skepticism of democracy promotion, withdrawal from Iraq and nuclear diplomacy with Iran were met with President Trump's "America ...
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