Sunday, 20 September, 2020

“It will be in US interest to rejoin Iran deal”

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has criticized the administration of President Donald Trump for abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying it is in America’s interest to return to the multinational agreement.

During an Atlantic Council Front Page event broadcast on Monday, Clinton gave her views on how the next US administration should move forward with several domestic and international issues, among them the Iran policy.

Clinton, who served as secretary of state under ex-president Barack Obama, said the Trump administration could have tried to fix what it viewed as problems with the deal instead of abruptly pulling the US out of the accord in May 2018.

One consequence of Washington’s withdrawal from the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was that Iran and China strengthened their relations, she claimed.

The politician highlighted a 25-year partnership agreement that Iran and China are working to finalize and said, “I put that directly at the door of the Trump administration— that pulled the United States out of the Iran agreement that I began the negotiations for as secretary of state, and my successor John Kerry was able to bring to a very important conclusion.”

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, said the next US administration should thus return to the Obama-era deal as a means of restricting the Iranian nuclear program and preventing an arms race in the Middle East.

“I think it would be in the United States’ interest to rejoin the Iran agreement, just as it would be to rejoin the climate agreement,” which was similarly abandoned by Washington under Trump.

She, however, cast doubt on whether Iran would be “receptive to that,” saying, “I think they may have moved on.”

Biden, the Democratic nominee for President, has increasingly signaled that he wants to renegotiate the international agreement with Iran.

Earlier in May, Anthony Blinken, one of Biden’s top advisors, acknowledged that the United States would have to rejoin the original deal before asking for a new one.

After pulling out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, Trump has been running what he refers to as a “maximum pressure” campaign, which has been seeking, in vain, to pressure Iran into negotiating a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence.

The Trump administration has also attempting to fully kill the agreement, recently through a fruitless resolution to secure an extension a UN arms ban on Iran.

Iran has repeatedly said it will not renegotiate the JCPOA, calling on the US to abandon its unilateral pressure policy and return to its commitments under the agreement.

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