US President Joe Biden with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol. (AP)

By Track Persia

January 20, 2022

With the Iran nuclear talks reaching a critical point, the Biden administration plans to focus more on attacking former President Donald Trump for leaving the deal which the United States signed with Tehran along with a few other world powers in 2015. The Biden administration’s new approach is reflected in a recent statement by the White House press secretary Jen Psaki who stated that if Trump hadn’t “recklessly pulled out of the nuclear deal,” none of the actions we’re seeing from Iran, including “aggressive actions that they’ve taken through proxy wars around the world,” would be happening.

Before taking office, American President Biden vowed that he would reverse the policy of his predecessor President Donald Trump over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and vowed to re-enter his country to the deal.

Having not seen any tangible progress from Tehran during the intensive nuclear talks, despite many concessions to the latter prompted President Biden to blame Trump for his failed policy to force the Iranian regime to a fair nuclear deal. Instead, the American president refused to acknowledge his failure claiming that it was Trump who triggered this crisis and that Trump left them with only bad options in case the Iran nuclear talks fail. It is worth noting that the Biden administration is said to have set the end of January or early February as the deadline to make a decision. It intends to ramp up its public messaging on Iran before then.

For its part, the Iranian regime is exploiting Biden’s policy over the nuclear talks by focusing on the guarantees that the United States will provide such as no future American president will pull out from any future nuclear deal. It seems, however, that the Biden administration has not said so far if it can meet such obligation. The regime also wants the nuclear talks to focus more on the verification that the American sanctions imposed on Iran are lifted to benefit the Iranian economy.

Similarly, Tehran finds Biden’s appeasement as an opportunity to press for more constant demands and concessions from the United States and its allies involved in it is nuclear talks. It seems that the fact that Tehran is busy with its engagement with the nuclear deal talks has never stopped the latter and its allies from carrying out proxy warfare in the region by increasing the use of the funds that the Iranian regime received from the former American President Barak Obama. The regime has never stopped spending these funds on fuelling sectarian violence in the region and providing arms, financing and training to its proxies of Shiite militias in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

Before Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and shortly after signing the deal with the Obama’s administration and the other world powers, the Iranian regime was keen on violating its nuclear deal.  For example, the regime did not dismantle the core of the plutonium reactor at Arak, as required by the deal and these violations were boasted by senior regime officials on state media.

At least on two occasions, the Iranian regime produced excess heavy water which the regime sold for profit. The regime also exceeded the limits of advanced centrifuge for more than a half dozen IR-8 rotor assemblies. Additionally, it operated 13-15 IR-6 centrifuges in a single cascade violating Section T of the 2015 nuclear agreement which prohibits any activities that could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device such as using computer models that simulate a nuclear bomb, designing multi-point or explosive detonation systems.

The violations of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal committed by the Iranian regime started in 2015.  The U.S. navy recorded 22 incidents of IRGC Navy fast-attack small crafts harassing U.S. naval vessels in international waters. The Iranian regime also dramatically increased its support to its allies Houthis in Yemen by sending them a large naval supply convoy. It then tested a ballistic missile with a range of 1,700km in violation of UNSCR 1929. The regime also built a bomb-making facility in Bahrain with 1.5 tons of high-grade explosives, planted several weapons caches, and planned a series of bombings in there. It tested the Ghadr-110 missile with a range of 1,900km.

In the following year (2016), the regime committed a bunch of violations of the nuclear deal. In January, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized U.S. sailors for 15 hours and paraded them on TV in violation of their rights under the Geneva Convention. This was followed by plotting to hijack a Saudi Arabian civilian aircraft, that was disrupted by Philippine authorities. IRGC Navy then harassed U.S. naval vessels 36 times with fast-attack small craft. In October 2016, the Iranian regime used its proxies the Shiite Houthi militants in Yemen to fire anti-ship cruise missiles at U.S. warships just north of the Bab-al-Mandeb. In the following month, the regime sent five arms shipments to Yemen in violation of UN Security Council arms embargoes on the Houthis. Fortunately, the U.S. Navy interdicted the shipments.

The year 2017 also witnessed more Tehran’s violations of the 2015 nuclear deal. On 29th January, the regime tested a medium-range of a ballistic missile in Khorramshahr. On the following day, the Houthis attacked a Saudi frigate in the Red Sea with three unmanned explosive boats, killing two sailors. In June, two fighters of Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hezbollah were arrested for plotting attacks in the United States and abroad. In the same month, the Houthis fired a missile at an Emirati ship in the Red Sea. In defiance of UNSCR 2231, the regime tested the Simorgh satellite. The regime also sentenced three American citizens for 10 years in prison on fabricated charges in August. This was followed by circulated reports from Israel that the Iranian regime was helping Hezbollah produce Precision Guided Munitions. In September of the same year, the regime was reported it had tested another ballistic missile. In November, the Houthis launched an Iranian-made missile towards Suadi Kingdom’s Riyadh International Airport.

Most importantly, the Iranian regime Tehran attempted to obtain illicit nuclear technology more than a hundred times, according to German intelligence prior to Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. In 2015, the regime even refused to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and this was later exposed in more detail by Israel in 2018.

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.