With even France worried about slow-moving talks over Iran’s nuclear-bomb ambitions, you can be sure they’re in trouble. Republicans have a better idea: Scrap the talks altogether.
On Tuesday, 110 House GOPers of Representatives called on President Joe Biden to end the negotiations in Vienna aimed at restoring the 2015 Iranian nuke deal and “strongly reinforce” existing sanctions in their place.
“Iran’s growing nuclear provocations, while stalling progress in negotiations, are the epitome of bad faith,” they wrote in a Jan. 12 letter to Biden. “The US and our partners must increase pressure on Iran to stop its dangerous nuclear advancements. The most effective way to do so is to strongly enforce our existing sanctions and urge our partners to take similar steps.”
The Republicans note that “Administration officials’ recent statements” about the talks make it clear “there is no productive diplomatic path forward at this time.” Meanwhile, “Iran is charging forward with its nuclear program.”
France is alarmed, too: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned this week that the talks are unlikely to lead to any agreement “within a realistic timeframe.” They’re moving “too slow,” given “Iran’s own actions and the trajectory of its nuclear program.”
Let’s face it: The 2015 deal was a mistake, as it ended tough sanctions that were imposing steep penalties on the regime and paved the way to allowing Tehran to legally acquire nukes. President Donald Trump was right to pull out of it, yet Biden wants back in, even as Iran presses for more concessions.
Meanwhile, Iran has been steadily enriching uranium at higher levels. In July 2019, it began enriching uranium up to 5 percent; to 20 percent in January 2021; and to 60 percent in April 2021. It can now quickly achieve the level needed for a bomb.
The White House, of course, blames Trump: “The fact that the former president ripped up the nuclear deal meant that Iran’s nuclear progress was no longer in a box,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claims. Clearly, she and her boss are still deluded in thinking Iran will operate in good faith.
They should take a tip from France, if not the GOP.