Republicans will quit any nuclear deal with Iran, scholar predicts

Republicans will quit any nuclear deal with Iran, scholar predicts

This article first appeared in the Tehran Times here.

March 11, 2022 | Tehran Times
John Tirman,  executive director and principal research scientist at the Center for International Studies, predicts that  Republicans will pull  Washington out of any possible deal with Iran inked in Vienna.
Mohammad Mazhari
March 11, 2022
Tehran Times

While indirect talks between Iran and the United States on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal are close to bearing fruit, some issues remained unsolved including guarantees that Washington will never abandon the deal again.

Many political analysts believe that America under a Republican administration won’t hesitate to exit any deal with Iran.

“If Republicans regain the White House in three years, they will withdraw,” John Tirman tells the Tehran Times.

Asked about mechanism that would ensure Iran in regard with US commitment to its obligations under a nuclear deal, Tirman says “There really isn’t one.”

In a letter to Biden last month, 33 Republican senators said they were ready to use “the full range of options and leverage available” to ensure the White House sought approval from Congress and “that the implementation of any agreement will be severe if not terminally hampered if you do not.”

While supporters of the nuclear deal, including Democratic lawmakers and administration officials, believe Republicans won’t be able to muster enough votes to stop a revival of the accord, the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will remain uncertain due to Republican-Democrat disputes. 

Despite these essential questions, talks for reviving the Iran nuclear deal are underway in Vienna.

“The two sides are negotiating seriously and there are multiple reports of nearing an agreement. If they can’t reach an accord, the nuclear agreement is dead,” the American author underlines.

However, the world is facing unprecedented developments like the Ukraine war that can put world peace as well as the course of the Vienna talks at risk. 

Tirman believes that the Russia-NATO conflict can deal a hard blow to the Iran nuclear deal. 

“If Russia uses the revived JCPOA and the trade provisions as a way to circumvent war-related sanctions on Russia that will be an enormous blow.”

Reportedly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday that Moscow is demanding guarantees from the US before backing the Iran nuclear deal, citing the current wave of Western sanctions against Russia.

Lavrov added there are “problems that have appeared recently from the point of view of Russia’s interests,” due to concerns over the terms of the deal concerning Moscow’s involvement in the civilian nuclear sector in Iran and arms sales to Tehran.

Despite efforts by Israel to hamper a deal between Iran and Western powers, the nuclear talks have covered most issues and if Tehran and Washington agree, this document can go into effect.

However, there are concerns that Israel may resort to sabotage acts in the aftermath of the agreement between Iran and 5+1.

Asked about Israel’s possible reaction to the success of the Vienna talks, Tirman expects that “sabotage is more likely than bombing. But they will do something to hinder Iran’s nuclear program.”

Regarding the ramifications of reviving the JCPOA for the region and the world, he says “I don’t expect it to change much. And there will be consequences we can’t easily predict.”