Any new deal with Iran must impose more restrictions on Tehran

Any new deal with Iran must impose more restrictions on Tehran

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, leaves the Coburg Palace, Vienna, Austria, on March 11, 2022. (AFP)

The US Senate passed a symbolic motion last week demanding that the previous version of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal, not be reinstated without fundamental changes – including the reining in of proxies. Tehran terrorists who operate freely throughout the Middle East and in the face of its growing ballistic missile program.
The nonbinding motion passed 62 to 33, with 16 Democrats voting in favour. It was further recognized that the Iran deal was seriously flawed in a way that made it unsustainable from the start: it may have successfully contained Iran’s nuclear capability, but it left Tehran free to attack other US interests and allies in the Middle East. And Iran has long had a vast network of proxies across the Middle East dedicated to this goal who would always continue to do what they were already doing.
Iran finances, provides arms and training and often even directly coordinates the strategy and tactics of groups such as the anti-American and anti-NATO government Bashar Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories occupied and the Houthis in Yemen. . In recent years, he has even begun to aid the Taliban, with whom he was previously antagonistic, in their efforts to expel the United States from Afghanistan. On top of that, Iran has backed a myriad of smaller terrorist groups and cells that have carried out attacks on US diplomatic and military assets for decades.
A Democratic-led Washington could carry these excesses and fight this fight regardless of the nuclear deal. But any anti-Iranian hawk could later come in and use the activities of these proxies against US interests in the region as a pretext to sink the JCPOA and put America on the path to direct military confrontation with Tehran. Washington certainly has no shortage of anti-Iranian hawks willing to do just that.
So, yes, it is imperative that Biden resurrect the Iran deal to ensure Tehran does not acquire nuclear weapons. The only other way to potentially prevent Tehran from pursuing and achieving this goal is all-out war, which, following the Iraqi experience, should obviously be avoided. Iran is a much larger and more powerful country than Iraq was. And the people of Iran, even those who hate the regime, would hate Western intervention even more and rally against the invading forces – not to mention the fact that Iran has close economic and strategic ties with Russia and China. , and that both would help Tehran. war effort. War is not only a morally wrong course of action, it would be ruinous to American interests. Washington might not lose this war, but it would probably lose the peace.
However, if war is to be avoided during this administration and also the following ones, the treaties between Washington and Tehran that would guarantee peace must be politically sustainable in the long term. Future US administrations must not have easily accessible pretexts to cancel the agreements and relaunch hostilities. And that primarily means that Iran must be prevented from continuing its proxy wars against US interests and allies in the region.

Iran should be required to stop funding all proxies and terrorist groups opposed to America in the Middle East.

Dr Azeem Ibrahim

All of these things are true and acknowledging them as such must be the foundation of any good faith effort to rebuild the nuclear deal. But in exchange for that good faith, Iran should be required to respond with the same good faith and stop funding all proxies and terrorist groups opposed to America in the Middle East. If an agreement is to be reached, it must be entered into by both parties in good faith.
And an agreement must be reached, because failure to do so would almost certainly lead to war. In this war, there will be no winners – the United States will lose its status, its money, its power and the lives of American soldiers, the Iranian regime will lose lives and millions of innocent people caught in the middle will suffer and will die needlessly. This is a scenario that no one can afford.

  • Dr. Azeem Ibrahim is director of the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy in Washington, DC Twitter: @AzeemIbrahim

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the authors in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Arab News

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