Report: Biden Wants Partial Nuclear Deal with Iran; Obama 2.0

In this photo released by Iranian Army on Aug. 24, 2022, drones are prepared for launch during a military drone drill in Iran. The Iranian-made drones that Russia sent slamming into central Kyiv this week have produced hand-wringing and consternation in Israel, complicating the country’s balancing act between Russia and …
Iranian Army via AP

President Joe Biden is reportedly considering a partial nuclear deal with Iran under which it would keep near-weapons-grade uranium, but stop short of refining it further, in exchange for some sanctions relief.

The possible deal, reported by Axios, replicates President Barack Obama’s formula from 2013, in which the U.S. offered partial sanctions relief to entice Iran to the negotiating table. Critics noted that Obama gave up most of America’s leverage in doing so, and the terms of the emerging deal favored Iran more and more over time.

In the end, the deal — never ratified by the Senate — gave Iran the ability to emerge as a nuclear power after about a decade.

President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, and began applying sanctions and military pressure on Iran. The regime resumed enriching uranium and has continued to do so despite two years of efforts by the Biden administration to revive the deal. It is now considered to be perhaps days away from a nuclear weapon.

Axios reported:

The new approach by the Biden administration shows just how concerned the U.S. is about recent advances in Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. has not ruled out diplomacy on reaching an agreement to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement but did take it off the agenda last year over Iran’s military assistance to Russia and Tehran’s crackdown on anti-government protests.

  • Iran has amassed 87.5 kilograms of 60% enriched uranium, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency report from late February. Experts say that if that uranium is enriched to 90% weapons grade, it would be a sufficient quantity to produce at least one nuclear bomb.
  • Israeli officials recently told the Biden administration and several European countries that Iran would be entering dangerous territory that could trigger an Israeli military strike if it enriches uranium above the 60% level, as Axios previously reported.

The pending deal — which excludes Israel, just as Obama’s deal did — is being viewed with trepidation by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made it a personal mission to stop Iran.

Netanyahu traveled to the U.S. to address Congress in 2015 in opposition to the deal, and in 2018 revealed an intelligence trove that showed Iran had no intention of complying with the deal and had continued its program.

Netanyahu had hoped that Biden would present a united front against Iran. But Biden has appointed many of the same officials who worked on the first, failed deal under Obama. And he has refused to invite Netanyahu to the White House, ostensibly in protest at Israel’s judicial reforms, but also perhaps to undermine Israel on Iran.

There are also new doubts as to whether the U.S. is really committed, as Biden has promised in the past, to stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, or simply stopping it from having a “fielded nuclear weapon,”

Biden has left Israel with the difficult choice of whether to launch a preemptive strike on Iran alone, and face the risks, or to find a way to live in the shadow of a nuclear-armed neighbor bent on Israel’s destruction.

Some observers, such as conservative Caroline Glick, are confident that Israel is still “holding the line,” and that the country’s ongoing political divisions will not affect its ability to strike Iran if need be. At the same time, the domestic turmoil — which included reserve pilots refusing to serve — has created a perception of weakness.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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