Are Iran and America on the verge of a new agreement? What has changed these days?
These days, once again the market of news and rumors of “negotiations” and “agreement” between Iran and America is hot. Many media, especially Iranian and Israeli media, publish new news about the “imminent agreement” between Iran and the United States every day.
At the same time, Nasser Kanani, the spokesman of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed Iran’s indirect negotiations with the United States and said that there is a high possibility of a prisoner exchange between the two countries in the next few weeks.
From that point of view, the leader of the Islamic Republic also considered the agreement without problems in his recent speech.
But what happened that the prospect of an agreement suddenly became so serious and why are America and Iran motivated for such an agreement despite the fact that there is not much time left until the end of Biden’s term?
The issue of Iran and the American elections
In America, with the presidential election season approaching and the streets of Iran becoming calmer, the Biden government, which has always preferred the option of diplomacy to other options on the table, wants to postpone the “Iran problem” until after the elections by reaching a temporary agreement.
The Islamic Republic has always been a political challenge for American presidents since its emergence until today. From the hostage situation in the American embassy in Tehran in the first years of the revolution, until today, when the high influence of the Israel lobby in America and the American evangelical voters in the elections has become one of the effective factors in Washington’s positions towards Tehran, the American president should always have a policy for Iran. have a specific
Currently, Iran’s non-acquisition of nuclear weapons is not only a strategic priority of the US, but also an important issue for discussion in the US elections.
Now that the Islamic Republic, thanks to Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, is on the way to reaching the border of nuclear deterrence, what solutions does Joe Biden have to curb this problem, that too on the eve of the presidential election?
Options on Biden’s table
1- Economic sanctions:
It seems that there is nothing left of Iran’s economy to sanction. All the effective economic and military sectors of Iran are under multi-layered sanctions and multiple labels.
2- Political pressure:
During the era of Barack Obama, America was able to bring most countries, including China and Russia, with them in exerting political and economic pressure on Iran. These days, neither America nor any other country can create such a global consensus against another country. Even in Russia’s war against Ukraine, such a consensus was not achieved in practice.
The political pressure of Europe and America does not have much effect on the Islamic Republic, because there are not many political relations between them and these pressures are practically limited to political comments and statements.
3- Economic incentive in case of cooperation:
The economic incentive can be the release of Iran’s blocked assets, the suspension or lifting of sanctions in exchange for Iran’s positive behavior.
Any suspension of sanctions will open the American Congress to the issue of Iran, and although Joe Biden will probably be able to veto the possible protest of the Congress, the political trouble that will be caused to him during the election season will be great. The cancellation of sanctions is another complicated issue.
Therefore, the least and simplest economic incentive in exchange for some kind of understanding or agreement with Iran is the release of frozen assets, which will not even need to be reported to Congress.
4- Cyber attack:
For years, the cyber war has been going on behind the scenes between Iran and America, and from time to time it intensifies and sometimes subsides. But the cyber attack alone has not done anything. Only a few months after Stuxnet, Iran was able to rebuild its enrichment capabilities.
5- Drone attacks:
The experience of these attacks is similar to cyber attacks. Pushing back Iran’s nuclear capabilities for several weeks or months.
6- Military attack:
The last option always on the table is a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which will probably be accompanied by a combination of cyber and drone attacks.
Although this option has been and will be on the table of all American presidents, it seems that the cost of such an attack still outweighs its benefits, considering the strategic priorities of the United States. In the event of even a limited military conflict, America’s more important priorities of supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia, as well as controlling China, would be affected.
Therefore, in the current situation, the least expensive way for Joe Biden to prevent tensions from rising or the occurrence of a military conflict, albeit unintentionally, in one of the most important strategic corners of the world, is to control the level of tensions with Iran through diplomacy.