Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI)
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2021. No 2(61). P. 129-138
Abstract. Public statements and a campaign promise made by the Joe Biden’s team raised hopes of the U.S. return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), early in his presidency. As a result, expectations of the sanctions relief and impending diplomatic breakthrough with Iran quickly mounted after President Biden’s victory. However, a closer look at the emerging evidence reveals that the new administration initially intended to return to the JCPOA with a different Iran strategy, one of coercion and pressure. Due to former President Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, the JCPOA was practically dead. It then had to be revived. The article inspects key factors that were successful in changing the Biden administration’s policy towards a more realistic and cooperative approach. However, this delay on Biden’s part was not without consequences and has major implications for relations with Iran, as well as the implementation of the JCPOA.
Keywords: Iran, nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), United States, D.Trump, J.Biden, H.Rouhani, E.Raisi
Seyed Hossein Mousavian (Iran) is Middle East Security and Nuclear Policy Specialist at Princeton University, and a former Chief of Iran’s National Security Foreign Relations Committee.
Younes Mahmoudieh (Iran) is a researcher at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI).
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