May 12, 2022 | The Wall Street Journal

Iran’s Hard-Liners Believe They’re Winning on Nuclear Weapons

In the Tehran echo chamber, Putin’s war is another indication of the cost of trusting America.
May 12, 2022 | The Wall Street Journal

Iran’s Hard-Liners Believe They’re Winning on Nuclear Weapons

In the Tehran echo chamber, Putin’s war is another indication of the cost of trusting America.

Excerpt

The European Union’s envoy charged with reviving Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, Enrique Mora, was in Tehran Wednesday in another—some call it last-ditch—effort to get the clerical regime to come to terms.

During the past 16 months of negotiations—many of them “proximity talks,” with negotiators in separate rooms—Washington reportedly granted Tehran numerous technical accommodations and massive sanctions relief. The two sides apparently overcame Vladimir Putin’s 11th-hour effort to use such relief as a means to void sanctions against Russia. Washington and Tehran likely have agreed, as they did in 2015, to ignore the International Atomic Energy Agency’s questions about Iran’s undeclared manipulated uranium—a prerequisite for a bomb.

But they haven’t surmounted the listing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on Washington’s roster of foreign terrorist organizations. Iran’s foreign minister briefly suggested the guards should take one for the team since a new deal would lift the big sanctions on oil—what really matters. The Biden administration has tried unsuccessfully to get Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to trade, offering to revoke the designation for a mere public promise that the Revolutionary Guard Corps won’t engage in further terrorism against Americans.

Mr. Gerecht, a former Iranian targets officer in the CIA, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Takeyh 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