The war in Ukraine torpedoes negotiations with Iran

More than a year and a half after the Biden administration took office, hopes of restoring the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna are gone forever. The repression of the protest movement in Iran, the war in Ukraine and Iran’s arms sales to Russia have changed the situation significantly.

“We are not going to focus on something that is inert while other things are going on, and we are not going to waste time on it … if Iran takes the position it is taking.” confirmed, monday 1er November, US Ambassador to Iran Robert Malley. Without declaring the nuclear talks officially over, the White House is now focusing on using sanctions and other pressure tools to counter Iran’s crackdown on protests and its support for Russia.

Don’t repeat Obama’s mistake

As seen from Washington, the handling of the Iran dossier is part of the competition between democracies and autocracies. The goal of the recently released US National Security Strategy maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage” Compared to China and “restrict” a Russia “still dangerous”. “Joe Biden does not want to repeat the mistake of Barack Obama, who did not support the protest movement in 2009, for fear of reducing the chances of a rapprochement with Tehran., historian Clément Therme analyzes. The rare character of the Iranian regime, which deals with the logic of constant repression, is more prominent for Westerners. »

The United States and the European Union have already imposed new sanctions against the Tehran regime. Others should follow. France, Germany and Great Britain at the UN from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres impartial investigation” About Iran’s supply of drones to Russia. The move, they say, would violate Resolution 2231 of 2015, which framed the nuclear deal.

For her part, American Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Wednesday, November 2, that Washington will work with its partners to remove Iran from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The prospect of a Republican majority in the House of Representatives is not encouraging the White House to show flexibility. The United States should not hastily throw a diplomatic lifeline to this terrible regime by reopening nuclear negotiations while there is blood in the streets.” David Ignatius, columnist says Washington post.

Moscow cleans Tehran

Russia’s dependence on Iran, a supplier of drones and a specialist in sanctions evasion, doesn’t help matters. Not only is Moscow no longer pressuring Tehran to return to the 2015 agreement, the Kremlin’s attitude toward nuclear non-proliferation may change.

Russia, which is on an all-out collision course with the West, may see Iran’s nuclear capability as an unpleasant source of irritation to distract the West.writes Hanna Notte, a researcher at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, in an article published on the website The War on the Rocks. Moscow is likely to protect Tehran from reimposing international sanctions by the UN Security Council and could equip it with more advanced air defense systems and other weapons. »

The Israeli factor

The final factor of uncertainty is the return of Benjamin Netanyahu to the head of the Israeli government. The two resigned prime ministers, Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, have restarted their military plans for a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The debate on this issue favors the Mossad, which is favorable enough to negotiate a deal with the Israeli armed forces and military intelligence, sabotage campaigns and the assassination of Iranian officials involved in the nuclear program. Israelis and Americans believe that Iran today has the ability to produce a bomb very quickly without necessarily intending to act. After that, the most difficult thing will be done: miniaturize the car and put it on the rocket.

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