Senior Fellow for the Center for Security Policy Victoria Coates says the Biden administration is appeasing Tehran and appears committed to reentering the JCPOA regardless of whether Iran’s regime changes its behavior.
“Given the direction they’ve already charted, when Secretary Blinken said the path to diplomacy is open for Iran, they’re already there. They’re not even going to try to modify Iran’s behavior. They’re just going to open the path,” said Coates on The Foreign Desk with Lisa Daftari podcast Thursday.
This comes as the Biden administration said Thursday that it is ready to begin talks with Iran’s regime and the other nations signatory to the 2015 nuclear agreement. This would be the first step in returning to a diplomatic deal with Tehran.
Coates believes the administration’s “eagerness” to rejoin the Iran deal could discount the “potential for positive change in Iran,” pointing to the fact that Iran was not transparent when negotiating the original deal, as was revealed by Israel’s obtainment of Tehran archives, and should not be expected to be transparent this time around either.
“Unfortunately, at this point, you know you could really argue that [the JCPOA] was fraudulently negotiated on the part of the Iranians because of course they didn’t reveal their previous nuclear plans and the obvious military dimension of their nuclear plans…The whole deal was brokered on a lie,” said Coates, further expressing why it is difficult to foresee the JCPOA being successful moving forward.
Coates believes the Biden administration’s approach to Iran as “internally conflicted,” with the administration trying to put on a strong front that the U.S. will not rejoin the nuclear deal until Iran complies with its original stipulations while simultaneously relieving the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen of the FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization) designation.
“It’s as if [the U.S. State Department] is insisting the Houthis are not terrorists. They’re not going to be on the FTO because they know that will please Tehran and be seen as a non-sanctions kind of an olive branch,” stated Coates.
If the U.S. rejoins the JCPOA, the regime’s power will be reinvigorated and the freedom-seeking Iranian people, many of whom supported Trump’s heavy economic sanctions on Iran and maximum pressure strategy, will be ultimately ignored.
Coates hopes that her and Len Khodorkovsky’s recently proposed Cyrus Accords, which encourage normalized relations between the Israeli and Iranian people, could be presented as “a very clear offer to the Iranian people that there is a more prosperous, secure future for their taking.”
The Biden administration is also currently in the process of appeasing President Xi Jinping of China, with President Biden actually propagating the narrative that China’s genocide against the Uighur population is merely an expression of “different norms.”
“It’s such an egregious example of his just accepting President Xi’s narrative and then repeating it in public. It’s basically Chinese propaganda. ‘This is fine. It’s just different norms.’ No, it’s millions of people in concentration camps. It’s imprisoned protestors in Hong Kong and all of the other really egregious behavior that the PRC has engaged in, which more and more is being exposed,” said Coates.