Biden Roadmap for Iran; Trump Strategy, Obama Tactics

BY: Pooya Mirzaei

Biden Roadmap for Iran; Trump Strategy, Obama Tactics

PEJOURNAL – US presidential and congressional elections are scheduled. At the moment, Biden’s position, policy and roadmap towards Iran can also be attractive to Iranian audiences. So far, however, more than 60 million people have cast their ballots. Democratic candidate Joe Biden has been ahead of his Republican rival, Donald Trump, on paper.

However, the experience of previous elections in the United States suggests that polls alone cannot predict a definite election victory. But Biden’s relative chance of victory raises a number of questions about his policies and agenda in various areas, including foreign policy.

For information on Biden’s program, you can refer to his statements and those of his close advisers. On September 13 this year, Mr. Biden published a memo in Cyanan on the subject of Iran. “There is a smarter way to tighten grip on Iran,” he captioned his note.

In part of his memo, Biden challenges Trump’s policy toward Iran, writing that “Trump’s promise to prevent Tehran from engaging in aggression in the region … was empty-handed.” This shows that Biden believes that the current US pressure on Iran is a hollow slogan and that real pressure on Iran should be put into practice. In other words, he is in favor of smarter pressure on Iran.

Biden writes in his memo that if Iran adheres to JCPOA’s strict commitments, the United States will return to the nuclear deal. The Democratic presidential candidate does not respect the precedence and delay of events. If it is supposed to be based on a resumption of commitments, it is the United States that must first come to an agreement and then claim that others will abide by the commitments.

The second proposition is that Biden sees the return to the IAEA as the beginning of intensifying nuclear and IAEA restrictions, and sees more pressure on Iran in other areas, such as missiles, regional affairs, and human rights. In other words, Biden’s goal in returning to JCPOA is not to lift sanctions, but to build consensus against Iran and put pressure on Tehran in various areas.

“We will continue to use targeted sanctions against Iran for human rights abuses, support for terrorism and missile programs,” Biden wrote in part.

Anthony Blinken is Biden’s foreign policy adviser who is said to have a key role in the next administration if the Democratic nominee wins. He sees Biden’s next goal as a consensus to put more pressure on Iran and isolate Tehran.

“If Joe Biden becomes president, and if Iran returns to adherence to the nuclear deal, we will do the same,” Blinken told CBS News in late September about Iran and Biden’s future policies. But then, we will use it as a platform to work with our partners and allies to strengthen and prolong it. And I think it has advantages, which puts us on the side of our partners and allies so that we can work together more effectively against other destabilizing activities in Iran and ensure that Iran is isolated over those activities, not the United States.

Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden’s current aide and former national security adviser to the Obama administration, is among those explaining Biden’s foreign policy. “Joe Biden will negotiate an agreement with Iran that will effectively advance the security of the United States, Israel and our other regional partners, holding Iran accountable,” Sullivan, who was present during the UN Security Council talks on Biden.

“Iranians need to be more realistic,” Sullivan said elsewhere. “It is impractical to imagine a major reduction in US sanctions without receiving assurances from Iran that it will begin immediate negotiations on a subsequent agreement that at least extends the timeframe and resolves issues related to verification and intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

Democrats roadmap

Ilan Goldenberg, former head of the Iran desk, served as US Deputy Secretary of Defense and Special Adviser on the Middle East from 2009 to 2012. He then became the head of the US Special Representative’s Office for Reconciliation. Goldenberg is currently director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for Modern American Security. He is close to the Democrats and advises them. In a report he wrote in early August, along with two others, he discussed the possible options and policies of the new US administration towards Iran.

This 23-page report is almost identical to the roadmap for a possible democratic government in how it interacts with Iran. Goldenberg writes in the report that JCPOA needs a complementary agreement that addresses the sunset clause, Iran’s policies in the region, and the issue of Iran’s ballistic missiles.

The Importance of the New American Security Center Report

This report is important for two reasons: first, because it presents, for the first time, the general policy announced by Joe Biden on JCPOA in the form of detailed, specific, and step-by-step solutions; Second, because the proposed solutions can be considered as a reflection of the Democratic Party’s mentality towards Iran, the examples and clues of which can only be expressed in a scattered manner in the positions of Joe Biden’s advisers or other politicians of this party or its official documents. Therefore, it can be expected that if Joe Biden wins the presidential election, at least parts of what is presented here will be raised and demanded as his official policy towards Iran.

US long-term strategy towards Iran

This section outlines the US government’s long-term strategy toward Iran: It must pursue several key objectives:

1. Prevent Iran from acquiring weapons.

2. Counter Iran regional policies that are detrimental to US interests in the region.

3. Move toward De-escalation in the region.

It has been suggested that negotiations with Iran be conducted in three phases: de-escalation, consultations and consultations, and the negotiation phase in two directions.

The report says that in the consultative phase, the future US administration should consult and coordinate its policies with international partners on the one hand and the US Congress on the other. This path will require intensive negotiations with members of the P5 + 1 and Saudi Arabia, Israel and other Middle East actors, as well as the US Congress. The United States should remind the parties in these consultations that diplomatic efforts to resolve regional issues are on the agenda.

In the negotiation phase, in addition to negotiations on the nuclear route, the United States will begin negotiations on regional issues with Iran. The US government has been asked to wait for the new president to take office in Iran to follow up on these talks.

Advise to use Trump’s achievements

Contrary to the Democrats’ view, the report considers the Trump administration’s unilateral sanctions to be effective and recommends that they be used in future negotiations. It is a barrier to investment in the country, and this is seen as a lever for the United States in future negotiations, and it also shows that the United States has the ability to unilaterally ease sanctions against Iran.

In addition, the experience of easing sanctions during the UN General Assembly showed that there is room for further negotiations. “Of course, this path depends on the circumstances of the time, and if Iran has completely distanced itself from the agreement and regional tensions have intensified, it is necessary to take another path.”

Scenarios for the return of the United States to JCPOA

Goldenberg and other writers have suggested four scenarios for how the United States would return to JCPOA:



(1) Mutual and simultaneous multilateral entry into the obligations of the Council.



(2) Some more balanced confidence-building measures, such as the suspension and facilitation of some sanctions in exchange for Iran’s return to the UN Security Council.



(3) Return to JCPOA with the facilitation of sanctions and at the same time the amendment of the sunset clause and the clause related to the lifting of Iran’s permanent restrictions.



(4) Immediate negotiation of a larger and more comprehensive agreement.

The New American Center for Security has made it clear that a return to JCPOA will not be unconditional under the first option. “A possible option for the United States is to offer to return to the UN Security Council within 60 days, and if Iran accepts; The United States can re-enter the UN Security Council by executive order.

At this point, the United States must make it clear that its return to the IAEA is a step towards greater and greater agreement, and begin negotiations on issues such as the IAEA sunset, regional policies, and missiles in exchange for facilitating and easing some sanctions and economic opportunities.

Regarding the second option, this method is written like returning to JCPOA, and the United States has made some exemptions, including the sale of one million barrels of Iranian oil and access to funds abroad in exchange for reducing the level of enriched uranium and limiting centrifuges and restrictions. Will provide research and development.

This option is not much different from the previous option on returning to the UN Security Council in terms of suspending technical and political sanctions, but if such an agreement is reached, it will need to be approved separately in Congress.

Comprehensive long-term negotiations in two directions

The center has once again suggested that limiting conventional weapons, including missiles in the region, regional nuclear deals, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan, and talks on Iraq are on Biden’s agenda.

The authors note that if the next US administration is still in Trump’s hands, the proposals made for the second Trump administration could also work.

They claim that continuing Trump’s maximum pressure could bring the Iranians to the negotiating table sooner than the presidential election in this country.

According to the report, the Biden administration could consider the same proposals of French President Emmanuel Macron to start talks or consider another solution to start talks with Iran, but Trump’s request for a direct and public meeting with Rouhani is an unnecessary request. It is impossible for Rouhani to accept it due to the internal conditions.

Biden Obama mirror?

Some have speculated that since Biden was Barack Obama’s aide and the JCPOA was signed during their tenure, the possibility of Biden returning to JCPOA smoothly and the lifting of sanctions would lead to an opening in Iran. This perception is apparently due to a lack of proper understanding of the past and present.

First, given the situation that Trump has created in terms of sanctions and their multi-labeling, any return and lifting of sanctions will not be easy.

Second, Obama’s main goal was not to lift sanctions and improve Iran’s economic situation, but to put more pressure on Tehran by using effective means. “I have consistently stated that, if we can finalize the nuclear deal and if Iran adheres to it, a lot of work has been done, but the problems are,” Obama said in a 2015 interview with The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

We will not end with Iran, and we are working hard with our allies and friends to reduce Iran’s destabilizing activities and its support for terrorist organizations, and we hope to be able to stop these activities someday. This may take some time. “However, we believe that if the nuclear issue is resolved, we can be in a stronger position to do so.”

In essence, the Obama administration sought to use JCPOA as leverage to increase pressure on Iran. The “debacle” of the United States, incidentally, began during the Obama administration on issues such as the accumulation of enriched uranium and carbon fiber, etc., which continued in a different way in the Trump administration.

The Obama administration imposed the heaviest and toughest sanctions on Iran. Suffice it to consider the number of laws that Congress has enacted in dealing with the US government against Iran. In terms of both quantity and quality, the Obama era ranks first, and nearly 40 percent of sanctions laws have become law under Obama.

5 anti-Iranian Security Council resolutions under Obama

Under Obama, five resolutions were passed in the UN Security Council, the most important of which was the 1929 resolution. With the passage of Resolution 1929, the United States imposed a mountain of restrictive laws, especially secondary sanctions, using a mountainous international context. Other resolutions included 1984, 2049, 2105, and 2159, which were passed during the previous Democratic administration.

Creating an anti-Iranian consensus

The Obama administration has sought to involve countries and international organizations in imposing sanctions on Iran through coordination between the Atlantic and the mobilization of many nations. The adoption of Security Council resolutions was in line with this.

Qualitative change in sanctions under Obama

The Obama administration’s anti-Iranian sanctions were not only quantitatively significant, but also varied in nature and quality. The Obama administration sought to shift anti-Iran sanctions from targeted sanctions to comprehensive sanctions. These sanctions also extended from US unilateral and territorial sanctions to secondary sanctions.

The Obama administration also sought to extend sanctions to finance, the central bank, energy, and key industries.

Unique strategy, different tactics

An examination of the above statements shows that Joe Biden and Donald Trump both pursue a common strategy that puts more pressure on Iran. Now Trump calls it “maximum pressure,” and it should be interpreted as “smart pressure.” But Trump’s method and tactics are such that he is monotonous in this regard and imposes one after another blind sanctions against Iran; To the extent that, according to Robert O’Brien, the US government’s national security adviser, sanctions have been imposed to the extent that there is nothing left for Iran to do against Iran and Russia.

But the Biden administration’s tactics are similar to those of the Obama administration. Biden’s team intends to put effective pressure on Iran by creating a consensus against Iran in a more intelligent way. Naturally, Biden is in a position where he will not easily overcome the maximum pressure and will try to turn Trump’s efforts into his desired product.

Overall, Trump and Biden largely agree on a strategy, and neither is concerned about improving Iran’s economic situation. Their strategic goal towards Iran is to empty Iran’s strategic strengths and capacities. But each in its own way seeks to fulfill their desire.

Iranian signal; Help Biden or Trump’s roadmap

Therefore, any reversal of the American reality by some Iranian politicians, both for political and electoral purposes, can be a wrong address that leads to Biden or Trump’s election campaign instead of helping the country. Tying the executive branch in the country and removing the economic and livelihood barriers of the people, with the possibility of one of the candidates winning in the United States, is in fact entering a quagmire in which any further effort and paddling will lead to more sinking and drowning.

It is certain that whenever the United States was confronted with a unified, clever and serious strategy from Iran, it was forced to retreat and cross its red line, but when it was picked up in Iran and a false image of it was given to the audience, the way forward for projects He also accompanied.

This misrepresentation of America has been done in two ways; A strange and radical political current in Iran, when they reach out to the Democrats and Biden and Obama, they embellish them, and when they talk about Trump, they bully him that his brutality is irresistible and repulsable from the Iranian side. Democrats, or in presenting a powerful image of Republicans, are misleading Iranian society and some decision-makers into adopting wrong policies toward the United States.

It is probable that for both Trump and Biden, Iran must adopt a calculated and clever strategy and roadmap, yet in this roadmap it is clear that if Iran does the right thing, it will have the ability to defeat Biden’s Velvet Glove policy and that of the Democrats. And can break the cast iron hands of Trump and Republicans.

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