By National Interest
Former Vice President Joe Biden has committed to rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action should he win the presidency. In a September 2020 CNN article, he explained, “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.”
The problem is that the Iranian nuclear deal had built-in sunset clauses so the agreement Biden proposes to rejoin would be significantly weaker than that which President Donald Trump left. Renegotiation would require new concessions. The question as a Biden administration moves from theory into reality would therefore become whether common ground exists to expand negotiations and potential concessions.
Traditionally, when the United States seeks to engage with Iran, diplomats propose cooperating on areas of mutual interest. In the past, this meant repeated proposals to assist Iran with its war on drugs. “Thousands of Iranians have been killed in the fight against drug traffickers.
Moreover, Iran is now a world leader in the quantity of illegal drugs annually seized. This is one area where increased U.S.-Iranian cooperation clearly makes sense for both countries,” Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in a March 2000 address to the Iranian American Council, for example.