November 28, 2021 | The Wall Street Journal

Iran’s Nuclear Negotiators Make the U.S. Sit at the Kiddie Table

The Islamic Republic relishes humiliating Americans while granting no concessions.
November 28, 2021 | The Wall Street Journal

Iran’s Nuclear Negotiators Make the U.S. Sit at the Kiddie Table

The Islamic Republic relishes humiliating Americans while granting no concessions.

Excerpt

Arms-control talks between Iran and the great powers resume Monday with a notable absence. At Tehran’s insistence, the U.S. delegation won’t have a seat at the table—its members must wait in an antechamber to be briefed by the Europeans. The mullahs have always relished humiliating Americans, particularly those eager to prove their benevolent intentions. These negotiations will yield little, no matter how much money Washington releases or how ardently Biden administration officials describe any follow-on talks as important steps toward a diplomatic solution.

The clerical regime’s atomic ambitions will continue to progress rapidly because the U.S. administration has no intention of trying to rescind what President Obama’s nuclear deal granted: the development of high-yield, easily hidden centrifuges, the key to an unstoppable bomb program. The Islamic Republic has displayed an uncanny ability to advance its aspirations and eviscerate American red lines with impunity.

The theocracy’s nuclear diplomacy succeeds precisely because it seeks no agreement. The mullahs understand things their interlocutors don’t. The U.S. and Israel have repeatedly chosen not to disable Iran’s nuclear program by force, undermining the regime’s fear of attack and allowing the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, more maneuvering room. All U.S. administrations have sincerely, at times desperately, wanted an accord. The United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency censure the Islamic Republic, and the regime ignores them. If Tehran pretends to be interested in diplomacy, Washington, always fearful of another war in the Middle East, makes more concessions.

Mr. Gerecht, a former Iranian-targets officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Takeyh, the author of “The Last Shah,” is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Follow Reuel on Twitter @ReuelMGerecht. FDD is a Washington, DC-based, non-partisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

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Issues:

Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran Nuclear