Iran’s leaders are ready to be partners with America once again, now that it appears President Donald Trump’s time at the helm of the United States is coming to a close.
This week, two of Iran’s senior leaders made comments that spoke of a potential thaw in relations with the United States under presumptive President-elect Joe Biden, according to The Washington Post.
In 2018, Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal that was signed while Biden was vice president in the Obama administration three years prior.
Biden has said he will appoint key figures who were part of the negotiations for that treaty to major roles in his potential administration.
On Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he expects that the sanctions Trump slapped on Iran will fade away with a new potential presidency.
“I have no doubt that the heroic national resistance of Iran is going to compel the future U.S. government to bow … and the sanctions will be broken,” he said.
Just one day earlier, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that if the sanctions Trump imposed “can be lifted in a correct, wise, Iranian-Islamic [and] dignified manner, this should be done.”
“We should not hesitate for even an hour,” he said.
There are issues in Iran, however, that could impede the nation from embracing a Biden administration.
Iran’s Guardian Council approved legislation this month to expand its nuclear program. Furthermore, the June presidential election in Iran could result in a new leader even more antagonistic to America than Rouhani.
Khamenei’s comments were the “first clear signal that he would be open to returning to the nuclear accord before the June presidential elections, provided the U.S. does the same,” according to Henry Rome, senior analyst at the Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting firm.
Rome believes Khamenei’s remarks “came in the midst of a swirl of contradictory messages.”
“The supreme leader will need to make additional public comments to indicate a new, defined policy position,” he told The Post. “Khamenei tries to balance competing domestic factions, while maintaining maximum flexibility for himself to change his mind in the future.”
And not everyone believes Biden should cozy up to Iran.
“Revenge will certainly happen at the right time.”@HassanRouhani:
“#Biden will bow down to the will of the #IslamicRepublic.”@JZarif:
“Allah willing, the US will disappear from the earth.”
— Reza Behrouz 🇺🇸 (@RBehrouzDO) December 18, 2020
Biden promised in a September Op-Ed for CNN that “I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations.”
In a Dec. 1 phone interview with The New York Times, Biden argued that diplomacy is the key to peace with Iran.
Biden said that “the best way to achieve getting some stability in the region” is to address “the nuclear program” issue.
“In consultation with our allies and partners, we’re going to engage in negotiations and follow-on agreements to tighten and lengthen Iran’s nuclear constraints, as well as address the missile program,” he said.
“The last g—–n thing we need in that part of the world is a buildup of nuclear capability.”
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