US Exit From JCPOA a Strategic Blunder 

US Exit From JCPOA a Strategic Blunder 
US Exit From JCPOA a Strategic Blunder 

The administration of US President Joe Biden considers its predecessor’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal one of the greatest strategic blunders of the American foreign policy in recent years, said a senior US diplomat amid stalled negotiations to revive the faltered agreement.
US Department State Spokesman Ned Price made the remarks in a regular press briefing on Tuesday, adding that the US government still seeks to resolve the issue “peacefully and diplomatically”. 
“Diplomacy … presents the most viable, durable, sustainable means by which to permanently and verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he said, referring to an ambition the Islamic Republic has long denied pursuing. 
The 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed between Iran and the six world powers to restrict Tehran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. 
Former US president Donald Trump, however, withdrew from the landmark accord in 2018, calling it “the worst deal ever”.
He initiated a “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran in hope of pressurizing it into signing a more comprehensive agreement. The sweeping sanctions eventually prompted Tehran to react by rowing back on its commitments. 
Biden rose to power with a campaign promise to rejoin the deal, which prepared the ground for negotiations in Vienna, Austria, to work out how both sides could resume compliance. 
The talks, however, have been stalled for months over final differences. 



Diplomatic Deal

While Iran blames the US for failing to make the required political decisions to conclude a deal, American officials accuse Iran of refusing to focus on diplomacy. 
“In fact, they have repeatedly turned their backs on a diplomatic deal in the form of what was on the table, that was a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA. They did that most recently in September,” Price contended, adding that the negotiations have not been on the US agenda ever since. 
He claimed that the Iranians killed the prospect for a swift return to compliance with the JCPOA. 
This is while Iranian officials have remained engaged through the European Union coordinator, repeatedly expressing readiness to round up the talks on the basis of the final draft. 
Paradoxically, Price described the possibility of Iran’s announcement of willingness to resume the negotiations as “hypothetical” and “incredibly improbable”, saying he would not entertain such scenarios.
“Even if the Iranians did come back tomorrow, we have a track record here, … that suggests to us that the Iranian word isn’t worth ... We of course have been down this road with them,” he said. 
Asked what the US was planning to do in the absence of negotiations on the agenda, Price said Washington intended to stick to its pressure policy, which Iranians have criticized as the continuation of Trump’s illegal pressure campaign.  
“It’s our goal to ensure that Iran continues to feel pressure until and unless it changes course,” he said.
Washington will also try to bring other countries along, since “economic pressure is most effective when it’s brought to bear with other allies and partners,” according to Price. 
“We continue to believe that, ultimately, diplomacy is the best way to do that, backed effectively by the necessary pressure to sharpen Iran’s choices, including sanctions pressure that we have increased over the course of the past year,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also said recently. 
Tehran dismisses such claims as hypocritical, declaring that the exchange of messages is still underway through intermediaries in spite of US officials’ claims in the media. 
Iranian officials have also repeatedly stressed that the Islamic Republic would not negotiate or give more concessions under pressure. 

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