We now know that President Biden is going to lift sanctions in a desperate move to get Iran to reenter the disastrous nuclear deal. The only question at this point is how broad the sanctions relief will be.
“We are prepared to lift sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA,” State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed to reporters. The JCPOA is shorthand for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is the formal name for the Obama administration’s Iran deal.
However, in the Wednesday State Department briefing on the indirect talks taking place in Vienna, AP’s Matthew Lee noted that a raft of sanctions were inconsistent with the nuclear deal, including sanctions against Iran for terrorism, ballistic missile development, and human rights violations.
But Price refused to answer as to whether these would be part of the basket of sanctions Biden is prepared to wave away. (Video of the exchange below.)
As we editorialized this week:
The only way this strategy makes sense is if it is by design. It’s no secret that Obama officials envisioned a realignment in the Middle East away from traditional alliances with Israel and Arab Gulf states toward a region in which Iran is more influential. And there is reason to believe that the Biden administration, which includes many of the same officials, shares a similar mentality. Concessions that make Iran more economically powerful are consistent with this vision.
Three times, & with tremendous patience does @APDiploWriter try to get clarity from @StateDeptSpox on terror, human rights & ballistic missile sanctions, & Price will not say that those will NOT be lifted (I cut the obfuscations). He won’t even say the IRGC FTO won’t be revoked: pic.twitter.com/noDs9ySihl
— David Shor (@DYShor) April 8, 2021