On May 8, 2018, then-President Donald Trump stood in front of the cameras and announced that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal. Despite Joe Biden's campaign promise to revive the agreement, with just over a year to go before his re-election, he has been unable to make good on his promise.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested possibly retrying or scrapping the agreement in an interview with CNN. He said at some point they tried to resume talks with Tehran, but they were not met with much openness from the other side.
"There have been some developments and some changes since the time we got out of the deal and the time we were trying to get back in it. But fundamentally what we tried to do was to get back into the existing agreement with some modest modifications. An agreement was on the table. Iran either couldn’t or wouldn’t say yes. We’re not about to take any deal. Of course, it has to meet our security objectives. It has to meet our interests," he told Fareed Zakaria.
"So, we made a very good faith effort to get back into compliance with them. They couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. We’re now in a place where we’re not talking about a nuclear agreement," he added, while also claiming that his agency is working to improve U.S.-Iranian relations.
He did not rule out future negotiations and did not clarify whether they would take place in the short or medium term. Electorally speaking, some analysts anticipate that this is something that will be left for Joe Biden's hypothetical second term, given that the deal is something that Republicans and some Democrats have strongly criticized in the past.
"We continue to believe strongly that diplomacy is the best way to resolve this problem. That compared to all the other options, it’s the one that can produce the most sustainable, effective result. But that doesn’t mean that the other options aren’t there and if necessary we won’t resort to them," Blinken concluded.
The agreement was heavily criticized by Israel, in particular by the current and former prime ministers, Benjamin Netanyahu and Yarid Lapid.
Ted Cruz on the Iran nuclear deal
At the local level, if there is one politician who is deeply against the deal, it is Ted Cruz. In his book One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History, the senator said that "if history teaches you anything, it's that when people tell you they want to kill you, believe them. Or, at the very least, don't give them hundreds of billions of dollars to help them meet their goal."
"On the face of the agreement, there were numerous obvious flaws: before any facility could be inspected to determine whether nuclear weapons were being developed, Iran had to be given twenty-four days' notice (plenty of time to clear the facility); certain 'military' facilities were exempt from inspection (obviously, where Iran would base its nuclear weapons development); for a military facility where Iran had conducted nuclear weapons work, Iran would be trusted to rely on 'self-inspection,'" he added in the book that was published in 2020.
Should the Biden administration succeed in signing a new agreement, Cruz assured that he would work hard to have it terminated by January 2025.