How Joe Biden Became the Father of the Iranian Atomic Bomb
Photo: Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images
President Joe Biden Has fought vigorously to pass any part of its domestic agenda. Yet there is a result for which he can take direct credit, a feat that, due to Washington’s poor political encouragement, he objected almost to no avail.
After decades of stalling progress in developing nuclear weapons capability, Iran is now turning the last screw on bringing them to that extent. Iran is now closer than ever to developing an actual nuclear weapon – beyond the point where a campaign of assassinations, sabotage, or even airstrikes could significantly hinder its nuclear capability. Both bold and sly sections of the US press point to an obvious fact underpinning this development: the 2015 nuclear deal is toast.
Biden’s stubborn refusal to make the deal needed to revive the 2015 nuclear deal has helped in Iran’s path to the bomb.
Iran’s path to the bomb is certainly of its own making, but it has been helped by Biden’s stubborn refusal to make the deal needed to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump withdrew from the deal due to estrangement, and Biden campaigned to come back in. When pushed, Biden refused to undo Trump’s aggressive measures.
It is difficult to say that the nuclear deal is definitively over, because in theory, both sides could miraculously reach a settlement at any time. It can be accurately described as a zombie: not completely dead, but also not about to breathe life back.
White House Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk reportedly told a group of think tank experts this Wednesday that a return to a deal was “highly unlikely.” Earlier, the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell Fonteles, said, “I have concluded that the space for additional important agreements is exhausted.” He said they would now have to sign the agreement if both sides were to move forward. The problem is that both the Americans and the Iranians have already said that the negotiations that are currently on hold are unacceptable.
Americans should lay most of the blame: it was America that first violated the agreement. Now, the situation on both the sides as well as the regional countries will worsen amid the continuing deterioration.
probably most The interesting statement about the death of the nuclear deal came from the country whose political leadership did the most to kill it: Israel.
In an article published in Time this week, Ehud Barak, Israel’s former prime minister, made his case for why the end of the deal has ensured that Israel’s worst fears of a nuclear Iran will now become a reality. “This summer, Iran will turn into a de facto border nuclear state,” Barak wrote, adding that Iran’s uranium enrichment program has now progressed to a point where it can no longer be returned by military strikes or sabotage.
Far from a dove, Barack argued that the US and Israel should have immediately planned to attack Iran in 2018 after withdrawing from the nuclear deal. They failed to take this step for “unexplained reasons”, which would have pushed the program years back. Instead, nuclear progress continued despite Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Iran’s enhancement programs have now gone beyond the limits where they can be effectively targeted by external attacks.
Barack said the ship had sailed on stopping nuclear Iran. In exchange for some weak, limited new nuclear deal, Barack wrote, Israel and its neighboring states should simply attempt to contain an Iranian state that has ultimately exceeded the nuclear threshold.
At the very least, Iran has said that it will not build an actual nuclear bomb, and likely will not do so any time soon. Even after developing the capability, it will take some time to master the technology required to deliver the warhead. The ability to maintain plausible denial is also important to the Iranian government, which seeks the benefits of a nuclear deterrent without the political heat. (Israel has maintained a policy of ambiguity for decades for this reason – while refusing to confirm or deny its nuclear arsenal.)
Recently, noting that there was no decision to build weapons, a top Iranian official said that Iran does in fact have the “technological capability to build a nuclear bomb”. The statement was later withdrawn by the Iranian side, but reflects a significant change in tone from previous statements that are also explicitly against the possibility of developing nuclear weapons.
Photo: Ahmed Gharbali / AFP via Getty Images
Biden’s response All these incidents have been the worst in all worlds: disappointing its pro-diplomacy base while failing to pacify its political enemies.
The nuclear deal was a diplomatic agreement signed by the Obama administration, in which, of course, Biden served as vice president. Upon taking office, Biden had a strong political opportunity to get back into US compliance with the deal, the minimum terms of which the Iranians had upheld despite Trump’s maximal pressure campaign.
Instead, in apparent fear of angering his political opponents by appearing weak, Biden immediately refused to renegotiate the deal that had been signed – something that Iranian officials indicated he had signed. It will be accepted after taking office. Due to domestic political pressures, Biden continued to play hardball instead of making a good-faith bid to re-enter the deal. Now, it looks like he has nothing to show.
In the real world, outside the funhouse-mirror debate of American politics, a nuclear-armed Iran could seriously hinder American decision-making in the region for generations to come.
The US could technically wage a full-scale war against Iran that would eliminate or seriously spoil the nuclear program, even possibly leading to the fall of the Iranian state. Outside of some particularly psychopathic corners of Washington, however, there is little appetite among the American elite to launch such massive conflicts. The American public is also less likely to support it. After two exhausting decades of fighting fruitless wars in the Middle East, the idea of starting another with a country more than twice the size of Iraq would be politically radioactive for any president.
America is now largely mired in a long-term mess of its own making. Negotiations with Iran were often portrayed by American leaders as favoring the Islamic Republic. The reality, however, was that the deal served legitimate American interests: preventing nuclear proliferation, while protecting Americans from another armed conflict in the region.
Contrary to statements by longtime Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters in the US, which dominate Israeli lobby organizations, the deal also served Israel’s interests, according to Barak and several other current and former Israeli political and intelligence officials. Of. Out of all, former Mossad director Tamir Pardo has said the withdrawal from the deal was nothing short of a “tragedy”.
That tragedy is now becoming a tangible reality – in Joe Biden’s watch. Although Trump began the process that got us to this point, it was only thanks to Biden’s mix of weakness and indecision that the world would now likely face North Korea’s Middle Eastern counterpart rather than a version of Iran, as in was imagined. Nuclear deal, which could be economically dependent on the West.
Biden himself is to blame for this. He hasn’t accomplished much as president, but it looks like Biden will have a legacy achievement to look back on: giving birth to the Iranian atomic bomb.