Candidate Joe Biden prioritized re-entering the Iran nuclear deal. But now that he is in office, President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and their counterparts in Iran have entered into a slow-motion dance, each waiting for the other to lead. Iranian leaders say they want sanctions relief before they will return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Americans say Tehran must turn off the new uranium enrichment centrifuges and return to full JCPOA compliance before the United States will re-enter the international agreement. In a March 17 Politico interview Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif actually said Iran is “ready to agree to a choreography” to coordinate each side returning to the JCPOA. In a December letter to Biden, Representatives Barbara Lee and David Price led a total of 150 U.S. Representatives urging the President-elect to rapidly re-enter the agreement. This month, Rep. Brown of Maryland spearheaded a letter asking Biden to slow down and make demands first. (Activists from Chesapeake PSR, Peace Action, and CODEPINK protested this outside his district office, pictured). While this diplomatic dance is playing out, a Presidential election looms in June in Iran. The stakes are too high for these games. Returning to the Iran deal should be just the beginning for a broad framework of diplomatic discussions with Iran.
This week (March 26-30), PSR is participating with Win Without War, National Iranian American Council and other allied organizations in a “Week of Action” to turn up the pressure for a swift and decisive return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. On March 31, 2:30pm eastern, you are invited to a virtual event, Iran Nuclear Deal or No Deal featuring Senator Chris Murphy and experts Peter Beinart, Kelsey Davenport, Trita Parsi, Barbara Slavin, and Jamal Abdil. Take action now by contacting your U.S. Representatives.