Caitlin Johnstone says Tehran’s argument that it is Washington’s responsibility to come back into compliance first is indisputable.
By Caitlin Johnstone
In an interview with CBS Evening News, President Joe Biden confirmed that his administration will not be lifting sanctions imposed upon Iran in order to bring Tehran to the negotiating table for the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.
“Will the U.S. lift sanctions first in order to get Iran back to the negotiating table?” Biden was asked by CBS’s Norah O’Donnell.
“No,” the president replied.
“They have to stop enriching uranium first?” asked O’Donnell.
Biden nodded in response.
With Iran resuming its enrichment of uranium, we asked Pres. Biden if the U.S. will lift sanctions first in order to get Iran back to the negotiating table on a nuclear deal.
“No,” Pres. Biden says, affirming that Iran will have to stop its enrichment program first pic.twitter.com/OPszf15Q1o
— Norah O'Donnell ?? (@NorahODonnell) February 7, 2021
There are a few things that are ridiculous about this, the first being that the JCPOA does not require that Iran “stop enriching uranium.” As explained by Al-Monitor‘s Arash Karami, the deal only calls for Iran to “keep its level of uranium enrichment at up to 3.67 %”, a level it only began exceeding when the Trump administration backed out of the deal and imposed sanctions.
The administration later clarified that Biden meant Iran would have to return to its JCPOA levels before negotiations could begin, but the fact that neither the United States president nor the high-profile reporter interviewing him appear to have been clear on this says a lot about the vapid nature of America’s political/media class.
Continuing the Sanctions
More importantly, this is confirmation from the horse’s mouth that Biden is in effect continuing Trump’s Iran policy. Trump began strangling Iran with crushing sanctions in an effort to force it to obey U.S. dictates and Biden is continuing that same strangulation while continuing to demand compliance with its dictates. The demands might be a little different, but the effect is identical since Tehran would never bow to either of them.
The Iranian government has repeatedly made it abundantly clear that it will not be rejoining the JCPOA until the United States comes back into compliance, since it was the U.S. that first abandoned it.
It claims, correctly, that it was in full compliance with the agreement when the Trump administration unilaterally backed out in May 2018. The argument that it is therefore Washington’s responsibility to come back into compliance first is indisputable. Why would it re-enter a deal with a government that is clearly acting in bad faith and could just back out and impose civilian-killing sanctions on the nation again?
Biden's foreign policy team is entranced by the belief it can repeat what it thinks was a big victory over Iran in the JCPOA by exploiting the sanctions inherited from Trump to force #Iran to accept new US demands. But It isn't going to worth that way. https://t.co/frtlshpsPV
— Gareth Porter (@GarethPorter) January 26, 2021
And that’s just getting back to the negotiating table for re-entering the deal as it is written. Gareth Porter reported last month that the Biden administration may plan on using the sanctions regime it inherited from the previous presidency as a “Trump card” to try and coerce Tehran into agreeing to a modified version of the deal.
US in No Hurry
Neither of these things are going to happen. Iran will not modify the deal, and it will not come back into compliance before the government which first abandoned the deal comes back into compliance. And the Biden administration appears to be perfectly fine with this, reportedly toying with the idea of waiting all the way until after Iran’s presidential elections in June to even begin approaching the deal.
The end result being that we still have a U.S. presidency waging economic warfare upon Iran in exactly the same way it was before the 20th of January.
Civilians are still having the life squeezed out of them by a far more powerful nation which does not view them as human beings, and it’s only a matter of time before this administration or a subsequent one causes another flare up which pushes things to the brink of hot war like we saw a year ago.
Biden’s Iran policy is in effect just a continuation of Trump’s Iran policy that liberals can feel good about. It’s Trump’s Iran policy with gender pronouns in its bio.
Choosing to continue an immoral course of action is just as immoral as choosing to initiate an immoral course of action. If you’re beating someone up and you leave when I get there, and then I choose to continue assaulting that person, I am just as culpable in that assault as you are. Presidents who choose to perpetuate one another’s depraved policies are just as guilty of that depravity as their predecessors.
Starvation sanctions are the only type of warfare in which it is considered normal and acceptable to deliberately target a civilian population with deadly force. But it is not normal, and it is not acceptable. Biden and his team of ventriloquists fully own the effects of their warmongering. They don’t get to just scribble “TRUMP’S FAULT” across them in crayon and act like they’re innocent.
The mainstream media are fixated on the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration, just as they were fixated on the differences between the Trump administration and the Obama administration four years ago. If you can mentally mute that vapid soundtrack and look at the similarities between administrations instead, regardless of party affiliation and campaign platforms, you’ll learn a lot more about what’s really going on in the world.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either Youtube, soundcloud, Apple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.
This article was re-published with permission.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
The Audacity of Biden
I don’t think that the US can squash Iran with sanctions. We’ve tried the max pressure of we forbid anyone to buy oil from Iran and we forbid anyone from doing business with Iran. That didn’t work. It’s going to work less and less as time goes on the EU, Russia, China, Iran, a number of S. American countries, etc are de-dollarizing and when we go out to sell our next tranche of US debt will we be able to keep what we pay people to take our debt down to a half or even a whole point interest rate? We’d better hope so.
CJ, as always, succinct and on point. We might see how strong Biden is going to be domestically in a response, if any, to the expulsion of a group of refugees, an action said to have been against Biden’s express orders. Will heads roll? Nah, probably not. Stopping arms sales won’t stop the genocide in Yemen.
What is really amazing is the acceptance of this disastrous bully on the world stage by so many people including Americans themselves. How can a nation spend half its budget on “defense” when it cannot provide health care, protection from police violence, decent public education, adequate public housing to its own people ???? Millions thrown out of their homes, jobs, “health insurance” when a pandemic finally hits the country, while much poorer lands place their populations ahead of blaming others and attacking others to punish them. The “enemies” like Iran, Russia, China wish to be sovereign nations and have not been a threat to the USA except by doing what they find best for their countries.The USA cannot bear rivals or equals, or treating other leaders with respect.
Sadly, this was predictable and unsurprising. We should expect nothing constructive from a group of amoral, cruel, dinosauers stuck in the muck of a Middle East from decades ago. These people don’t value anyone’s life and their actions make this crystal clear. Dismal.
“Biden’s Iran policy is just Trump’s Iran policy with a rainbow flag emoji”
I would call that a good snappy, brief description.
And I’m afraid it is to be the same with both Russia and China.
Softer language, a few PR-oriented adjustments, but basically, the same policy of relentless hostility and unreasonable demands.
As is the case with so very many aspects of contemporary American society, especially in politics, the words of the speeches and news articles really have very little meaning, beyond suggesting something new or meaningful is being offered when it is not.
When it comes to such matters, it is all about “I, Me, Mine,” and the “I, Me, Mine” involved has nothing to do with average Americans, or indeed, average Iranians and others.
It is the “I, Me, Mine” of the people who own and direct America for their own benefit. Its plutocracy and the Deep State serving it dutifully through brutal empire.
And that is just one of the reasons that China will inherit the earth. It talks about real changes, and it always means what it says.
An Iranian War would be a big feather in his cap for Biden with the Washington, DC crowd. No one (maybe Hillary?) would dare provoke the Persians (seems pointless? More oil in Venezuela). This would be bigger than the 500,000 Iraqi toddlers starved to death/dead from disease under Albright/ Clinton. Trump left all the rich Arab Sunni autocrats aligned (in “peace”) with Israel. Now Biden can squash Iran with increasingly harsher sanctions, as the US has done since 2012 in Yemen, and Israel can continue to provoke War, until Iran inevitably responds. And the US can then come to the rescue, as in so many Forever Wars before.
An excellent analysis.
It isn’t a rainbow flag — there’s nothing Gay about Biden’s policies. (Of course, if your “rainbow” has only blue and white colors… /s)
One can’t even say it is the corruption from Netanyahu that is formulating this “policy”.
It is more along the lines of the only “promise” Joe Biden will keep, “Nothing will change.”