The Biden administration appears willing to overlook the desires of U.S. regional allies and the Iranian people who are directly affected by the regime’s malign activities in order to reenter the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), according to Former Iran Advisor for the Secretary of State under President Trump Gabriel Noronha.
The left is “really wholeheartedly trying to get back in the JCPOA, and unfortunately, they’re willing to look past Iranian terrorism, cyberattacks, [and] human rights violations, if that’s what’s necessary to get back in the deal, and that’s really disappointing,” Noronha said on The Foreign Desk with Lisa Daftari podcast Thursday.
Many Americans and politicians from both sides of the aisle have questioned the Biden administration’s relentless push to move forward with reentering the JCPOA, despite Iran’s unwillingness to negotiate terms.
Noronha explains that rejoining the nuclear deal “is not so much about the notion that they love the JCPOA. It’s really, in their view, an attempt to reshape the Middle East, and they don’t actually think we should be treating Israel and Saudi Arabia and the UAE like allies and partners. They think we should be balancing everyone against each other.”
If the U.S. continues to allow Iran the upper hand in negotiations rather than forcing Iran to be the country “begging to come to the table,” there is a significant chance that the U.S. will “stay at the negotiating table as long as it takes for them to capitulate to Iran.”
A return to the JCPOA would have monumental consequences for regional allies, particularly for Israel, as well as for the Iranian people, who wish to be free of the Iranian regime’s totalitarian rule.
The reality on the ground in Iran is that “the youth today hate the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps). They hate the mullahs. They don’t even care much about Shia Islam, and so if you’re trying to do a deal which is accommodating this regime, you’re not doing something that the people actually want. You’re actually doing something in diametric opposition to the wishes of the people in Iran.”
Noronha points out that the countries currently involved in nuclear deal negotiations in Vienna are not the countries that are directly affected by Iran’s “day-to-day” malign behavior in the region or the countries that will be under the greatest threat if Iran eventually obtains a nuclear weapon.
These countries, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq, and Bahrain for example, are excluded from the discussion and “don’t get a say,” which should be an immediate red flag that there is something “wrong with the negotiations.”
Noronha explains that Iran would not hesitate to use a nuclear weapon as blackmail against European countries, the Middle East, or the U.S., emphasizing that if Iran becomes a nuclear power, we would also see a nuclear arms race begin in the Middle East.
With a nuclear weapon, Iran would continue to “threaten to destroy Israel, and they might actually go out and do that.”