TEHRAN -- A political commentator believes the reason behind the U.S. President Joe Biden administration’s efforts to rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is its concern over the recently-inked partnership deal between Iran and China.
“The Biden administration is worried over the recent signing of the 25-year strategic cooperation agreement between China and Iran,” Ashok Swain, who is a professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research of Uppsala University in Sweden, said in an interview with Press TV on Monday.
“So, the U.S. wants to return to the nuclear deal to normalize its relations with Iran as soon as possible,” he said. “The fear of China’s rising influence in the region will push the U.S. to be sincere with Iran.”
Late in March, Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi signed the Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to strengthen the traditional friendship between the two states.
The partnership agreement, which was five years in the making, includes Chinese investments in Iran’s energy and infrastructure sectors in return for steady supplies of Iranian oil.
Days after the signing, negotiations were launched in the Austrian capital, Vienna, to revive the nuclear deal – which was abandoned by the former U.S. administration of Donald Trump.
Swain said the Biden administration is seriously concerned over the rise of China and is trying to do whatever possible to gain back its leadership position at the global power table.
“In the G-7 meeting in the UK, Biden has clearly expressed his plan to create an ‘alliance’ of some sort to keep China in check,” he said.
Pointing to the slow pace of the Vienna talks, the analyst criticized the Biden administration’s failure to remove the Trump-era sanctions as soon as the negotiations began, saying Biden could have corrected the U.S. fault to some extent by returning to the deal.
“But it did not do so and continued the same bullying tactics,” he said, noting that the US has been a bully in international politics for a long time.
Swain also said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was right to say the U.S. should first remove
the sanctions on Iran in order to return to the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“It should have been the right thing for the U.S. to do by lifting all the sanctions it has imposed on Iran,” he said. “The most appropriate action would have been for U.S. President Joe Biden to return to the 2015 nuclear deal without further negotiation after assuming office.”
He further said Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and Biden’s renegotiation over the return to the deal “don’t reflect well on the U.S. and its international standing as a reliable and trustworthy partner.”
Chaired by Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora, the sixth round of Vienna talks began on Saturday between Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.
The U.S. has also sent a delegation to the Austrian capital but is not attending the JCPOA Joint Commission talks directly as Washington is no longer a party to the deal. It has, however, held separate talks with the other parties with the exception of Iran.
Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s top negotiator in the Vienna talks, told Press TV on Sunday that the Iranian delegation seeks a good deal that would address the Islamic Republic’s key concerns and will continue the negotiations until such a deal is reached.