Don’t Let the Nuclear Deal Unravel

From The American Conservative:

Laura Rozen reports on the Iranian announcement that their government will cease its voluntary implementation with the IAEA’s Additional Protocol next week as part of the legislation adopted following the murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh:

In a sign that some Iran experts said reflected the Iranian perception that it is taking the Biden administration too long to make a move towards returning to the Iran nuclear deal, Iran’s envoy said Monday he’d informed the UN atomic watchdog agency that Iran would cease voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol on February 23.

“Act of Parliament will be executed on time (23 Feb) and the IAEA has been informed today to ensure the smooth transition to a new course in due time,” Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Kazem Gharibabadi tweeted on Monday (Feb. 15). “After all, goodwill brings about goodwill!”

For the last five years, Iran had been following this more rigorous protocol that permitted the IAEA to inspect its facilities on short notice. If the other parties to the agreement had kept up their end of the bargain, Iran was due to ratify the Additional Protocol and make this arrangement permanent in two years’ time. Next week’s deadline has been known for months, but the Biden administration seems oddly unconcerned that it is about to pass. It should be possible to give Iran incentives to delay or cancel this action, but that requires signaling to Iran that the U.S. is serious about rejoining the agreement and fulfilling its commitments. To date, the administration’s public messaging has been poor and inadequate. The insistence that the US will reenter the JCPOA only after Iran resumes full compliance has been met with disbelief in Tehran. It makes no sense for the government that violated all of its commitments to make demands of one of the governments that is still a party to the agreement, and by refusing to rejoin the agreement first Biden is jeopardizing the agreement’s survival for no good reason.

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