solana129_EU Delegation in Vienna via Getty Images_irannucleardeal EU Delegation in Vienna via Getty Images

Reviving Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran

With Iran’s radical factions increasingly emboldened and a presidential election looming in June, the window of opportunity for supporters of the 2015 nuclear deal to revive the pact appears to be closing fast. US President Joe Biden’s measured approach offers the best hope of de-escalating current tensions.

MADRID – Diplomacy has always been the only sensible way to address US-Iranian tensions. But when foreign policy rides on emotional currents and succumbs to gimmicky temptations, wise and subtle statecraft is relegated to the background.

This happened in the United States after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, and it happened again during Donald Trump’s bombastic presidency. Perhaps the best example was Trump’s impetuous unilateral decision to withdraw the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

That agreement – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – came about after years of arduous negotiations, only for Trump to dismiss it in a huff as part of his arrogant and shortsighted “maximum pressure” strategy toward Iran. But with Joe Biden now president, talks that began this month in Vienna provide the main global powers with a diplomatic opportunity to salvage the pact.

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Correction Apr 19, 2021 16:00UTC

In the eighth paragraph, General Qassem Suleimani was not the leader of the Revolutionary Guard, but rather of its Quds Force.

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