The Los Angeles Times Subscription
One of Donald J. Trump’s greatest blunders as president was to repudiate the 2015 international agreement in which Iran accepted significant limitations on its nuclear program — restrictions designed to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. Rather than pressuring Iran to accede to tougher limits, as the former president hoped, the decision to abandon the deal in 2018 and reimpose economic sanctions gave the Islamic Republic an excuse to begin openly violating the agreement.
During last year’s campaign, Joe Biden promised that the United States would rejoin the agreement — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — if Iran returned to strict compliance.
But as The Times’ Tracy Wilkinson reported, that will be difficult for several reasons, including the fact that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, will not be able to seek reelection in June. Hard-liners in Iran who’ve championed its nuclear ambitions have been emboldened not only by Trump’s use of economic sanctions to exert “maximum pressure” on Iran, but by the U.S. military’s targeted killing last year of Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who led the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force.