So what ever happened to the Iran deal? That’s been hard to say since the Biden administration has absolutely refused to disclose any details of the negotiations over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) being hammered out in Europe. One thing we do know is that Germany, France, and Great Britain were all involved in the haggling with the Iranians. Rumor had it that a “best, final offer” was put forth last month, with some White House insiders suggesting that a deal could be “close.” The lack of any further announcements should probably have told us all we needed to know. Now we’ve learned that the three European governments mentioned above have released a joint statement and the news was not good, at least in their opinion. Despite what they describe as their “good faith efforts” to come to an agreement, the Iranians are still demanding the moon and more. As such, the negotiators have concluded that “Iran has chosen not to seize this critical diplomatic opportunity.” In other words, it’s not going to happen. (Auswärtiges Amt)
We the governments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom have negotiated with Iran, in good faith, since April 2021 to restore and fully implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), along with other participants to the deal and the United States. In early August, after a year and a half of negotiations, the JCPoA Coordinator submitted a final set of texts which would allow for an Iranian return to compliance with its JCPoA commitments and a US return to the deal.
In this final package, the Coordinator made additional changes that took us to the limit of our flexibility. Unfortunately, Iran has chosen not to seize this critical diplomatic opportunity. Instead, Iran continues to escalate its nuclear program way beyond any plausible civilian justification.
The negotiators said that they have “serious doubts as to Iran’s intentions and commitment to a successful outcome on the JCPoA.” Really? Well, knock me over with a feather. Who could have guessed that?
The IAEA Board of Governors set forth a list of all of Iran’s violations regarding the monitoring of its nuclear facilities back in June. They listed the steps that Iran would need to take in order to at least come back to their previous, unsatisfying levels of compliance in that regard. The completion of those steps, such as restoring the IAEA cameras installed at their processing facility, was a prerequisite to a new deal.
According to the joint statement, Iran “has taken no steps at all.” Instead, they have escalated their demands for international sanctions relief while offering nothing in return. Without saying it in so many words, this joint statement appears to signal an end to the attempts at negotiations.
We’ve been covering this process here from the beginning and little has changed since then. The Biden administration’s efforts to restart the deal were doomed by our own failures in negotiating tactics and Iran’s unwillingness to bargain in good faith. Biden’s team walked in on day one and set for an offer containing virtually everything that we would ever be able to tolerate giving them. The Iranians couldn’t believe their good fortune, so they immediately began trying to bargain for even more. That’s when the talks apparently fell apart.
Of course, much of this has been left to the realm of unnamed sources and guesswork. That’s because “the most transparent administration ever” hasn’t told us a thing. These talks have been playing out between multiple parties all year and we were never briefed as to what was being proposed. Whatever the last offer was, it was almost certainly a bad deal for America. Should we be surprised? Iran has already moved on to side with China and Russia and the rest of the new Axis of Evil. It appears that they were likely just stringing us along in case we really did offer them the moon and the stars for almost nothing in return. When we didn’t, they just went about their business. Now will Biden’s team admit that this was a lost cause and go home?