By Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe—
FORMER PRESIDENT Barack Obama never submitted his 2015 Iran nuclear deal to the Senate for ratification as a treaty. Had he done so, it would have been rejected. A majority of senators — including New York’s Chuck Schumer, now the majority leader — opposed the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The public frowned on it too. A Pew poll that fall found that only 1 in 5 of those surveyed backed the JCPOA or trusted Iran to abide by its terms.
Almost from the outset, Iran had violated several of the restrictions imposed by the deal and/or related UN Security Council resolutions. It hid information from international inspectors. It test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile and declared it would accept no limitations on its missile development. Obama had pitched the deal as one that would encourage Iran to “get right with the world,” but that never came close to happening. The Islamic Republic intervened in Syria’s civil war in support of the murderous Bashar Assad, armed Houthi rebels in Yemen, seized two US Navy vessels and humiliated their sailors, called repeatedly for the extermination of Israel, and continued to subsidize terrorist groups.
Despite that record, Joe Biden ran for president on a pledge to revive Obama’s nuclear agreement, from which the United States withdrew when Donald Trump was in the White House. For months, the Biden administration has been negotiating in Vienna to strike a deal with Iran — and reports in recent weeks suggested that a return to the JCPOA was imminent.
The Wall Street Journal revealed last week that Russia, which has been a key player in the Vienna talks, was conditioning its support for a new nuclear deal on the creation of a loophole in the economic sanctions imposed by the West over its illegal invasion of Ukraine. Russia is demanding a written guarantee that its trade with Iran will be exempted from sanctions if the JCPOA is resurrected. But that would undermine the international financial squeeze being applied to Russia and thus enhance its ability to devastate Ukraine. That is a concession the Biden administration refuses to make, even to clinch an Iran deal.
Meanwhile, Iran has issued a fresh reminder that it remains committed to spreading terrorism and violence across the Middle East. Continue Reading…