Biden needs a new strategy for Iran

America's credibility with Iran has crumbled. Meanwhile, the nation is edging closer to building a nuclear weapon.

President Biden.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

Are we on the precipice of another Iran crisis? More than three years after former President Donald Trump torched the Iran nuclear deal for no particular reason, Tehran is now only weeks or months away from having enough fuel to build a weapon. If President Biden is interested in an outcome other than Iran testing a nuclear weapon, which would represent a monumental failure of American policy across five administrations, he needs to rethink the basic parameters of the negotiations that may soon take place in Vienna.

The Biden administration must first confront severely damaged American credibility. Iran was in full compliance with the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action when Trump petulantly withdrew from the pact — which limited Iranian enrichment activities in return for sanctions relief — and imposed harsh new sanctions. Whether Trump's plan was to trap the next Democratic administration in an impossible, politically toxic bind, carry out an emotionally satisfying act of retaliation against former President Barack Obama, or indulge the D.C. foreign policy blob's fantasy of overthrowing the Iranian regime is known only to the Mar-a-Lago's most famous resident.

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David Faris

David Faris is an associate professor of political science at Roosevelt University and the author of It's Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics. He is a frequent contributor to Informed Comment, and his work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and Indy Week.