Former Trump adviser says Biden’s possible ‘plan B’ on Iran nuclear deal is ‘insane’

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A former national security official in the Trump administration has said any negotiation with Iran that results in a weakened nuclear deal would be a “crazy deal” for US national security.

Speaking in a briefing Tuesday, Rich Goldberg, the former Iranian anti-weapons of mass destruction director for the White House National Security Council, condemned recent reports suggesting that the Biden administration is considering “plan B” options to strike a deal with Iran.

A group of anti-Iranian protesters gather at a meeting on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna, Austria, April 15, 2021.
(Askin Kiyagan / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

President Biden has vowed to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear deterrent guarantee that the Trump administration withdrew by the United States in 2018.


Tehran has agreed to meet with world leaders next week to negotiate the relaunch of the 2015 deal, but the administration has suggested that the United States is also looking to come up with alternative solutions if negotiations fail.

It is not clear exactly what those solutions might be, but the possibility of increased sanctions and targeted strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities remains likely.

Last month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States and its allies would “examine all options to meet the challenge posed by Iran,” adding that “we are ready to look to others. options ”if negotiations fail.

Secretary Antony Blinken speaks at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

Secretary Antony Blinken speaks at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday, September 23, 2021.
(AP Photo / John Minchillo, Pool)

But security officials in the previous administration fear that a weakening of negotiations could lead to a greater threat from Iran.

“The Iranians have their cake,” Goldberg told Fox News. “They can reap all the benefits of the sanctions relief … [while] running time on sunsets. “

Iran has argued that the US withdrawal from the JCPOA canceled its commitments in the 2015 deal and has since used the move as an excuse to continue nuclear development.


“The JCPOA still exists. Iran is still in the JCPOA – they never left it… even if they absolutely do not comply with it,” Goldberg said.

The deal’s sunset provisions will lift protective measures prohibiting Tehran from developing nuclear capabilities, including sanctions and missile embargoes, both of which will expire in 2023.

Officials argue that despite Iran’s failure to comply with the JCPOA, the sunset provisions are still expected to be lifted in just over a year – a policy they say should be rescinded due to violations of the law. compliance.

“This is a completely insane deal if you want to negotiate this while still giving the Iranians all the JCPOA sunsets as they go,” Goldberg added.

Critics of the US withdrawal from the international deal said the move would destabilize the nuclear deal. Likewise, the Biden administration argued that the decision puts the United States in a weakened position to negotiate with Tehran.

<a class=Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei delivers remarks on the JCPOA on February 17, 2021 in Tehran, Iran.”/>

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei delivers remarks on the JCPOA on February 17, 2021 in Tehran, Iran.
(Iranian leader‘s press office / Document / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

But in response to Fox News ‘question about how the divorce from the nuclear deal potentially weakened the United States’ negotiating capacity, Goldberg said Trump’s White House had no other option.

“The Trump administration had no choice but to withdraw US participation from the JCPOA to recoup the leverage we lost under the deal,” he said.


“At the time, senior administration officials described it as a choice of whether or not to have a crisis with Iran 10 years from now – when the Iranian economy is robust and their long-range missiles are sophisticated… and then all the sunsets set in. and suddenly they say with perfect legitimation from the Security Council: “We are ready for a nuclear weapon.” ” did he declare.

“Or are you going to do it when they’re weaker… when we have a robust maximum pressure in place?” Goldberg added.

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