DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- Joe Biden plans to scrap what he calls the "dangerous failure” of President Donald Trump’s maximum pressure policy on Iran should he win the U.S. election, but after years of confrontation his diplomacy-first approach to a historic Middle East foe could prove an unforgiving challenge, Reuters has said.
Vice president under President Barack Obama when Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers was struck, Biden has pledged that if Tehran resumes compliance with the pact he will return to the agreement, which Trump quit in 2018, reimposing sanctions.
Iran’s ties with Washington have been at boiling point ever since, and an international consensus over Iran’s nuclear work has been in disarray.
But among the obstacles facing Biden, a Democrat, in his bid to reopen a pathway to detente are Iran’s mistrust of Washington, which deepened sharply when Trump tore up the deal.
"Why should we trust Biden? He is like Obama. You cannot trust Democrats,” Reuters quoted an unnamed official which it described close to the office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
Both Trump and Biden have yet to detail how they plan to persuade Iran to go along with their respective approaches.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday slapped sanctions on key players in Iran’s oil sector.
Biden’s idea appears to be a return to the 2015 deal as a prelude to a wider talks on Iran’s nuclear work, its ballistic missiles and regional activities, Reuters said.
Iranian officials have vehemently ruled out any negotiation over its missile defense capabilities and any new talks on its nuclear program.
Meanwhile, returning to the original
deal is not a simple matter, Reuters said.
Among the complexities are Iranian demands for compensation for damages it suffered following Trump’s restoration of nuclear-related sanctions; Tehran’s likely demand for the removal of other, non-nuclear U.S. sanctions imposed since May 2018; and the time and money it would take to disassemble and store centrifuges that it has re-installed, including at its Fordow nuclear complex, where uranium enrichment was barred under the nuclear deal, the news agency added.
"Aside from returning to the deal, the next U.S administration should compensate Tehran for the damages during the withdrawal ... and of course make commitments to ensure that such violations are not repeated,” Iran’s Government spokesman Ali Rabeie told reporters on Tuesday.