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Iran and Biden slots divide the hawks and doves in Tehran

Management change in Washington with the arrival Joe BidenIt led to a profound disturbance of the other balances in both Kabul and Tehran. Regarding Afghanistan, the prospects for a new White House remain unclear, with the president tempted to withdraw while the allies and generals are convinced of the necessity to maintain a substantial presence, so strong but gradual corrections can be made. supposed. In Iranian politics, on the other hand, we can speak of a reversal of course: Biden wants to return to an agreement, which may combine the terms of the JCPOA that have been suddenly and unilaterally denounced by Donald Trump For containment measures in Tehran’s missile rearmament. In any case, Trump’s policy has been archived, and the new presidency has already leaked strong rumors in this regard.

The effects are immediately apparent: the Islamic Republic’s “hawks”, who have in fact been favored by Trump’s options, are forced to respond immediately. This can be understood from the tweet recorded on the Ayatollah’s account this morning Ali Khamenei: The Supreme Leader raises his hand, declaring that any slowdown in the nuclear program will be conditional on the cancellation of sanctions imposed on Iran. Khamenei accuses the counterparties of the JCPA of default, without worrying about the clear distinction between the United States and European countries. In other words, it is a national imperative: We are against everyone, the Islamic Republic is against the West. A vision that is, in fact, a guarantee for the regime’s survival internally, even when the economy is in difficulty.

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On the other hand, signals from “doves” are equally important. Moderates in the Islamic Republic, starting with the president Hassan Rouhani So it ends with the pragmatic foreign minister Jawad Zarif They can only see an opportunity in the Washington Slots. If Trump’s direct policy has put them in a corner, Biden’s approach could put them back in the center of the game in Iranian domestic politics. Zarif immediately indicated that time is running out quickly: If the United States does not take concrete steps to return to the agreement, by easing sanctions by the Persian New Year, on February 21, Iran will have to implement the decisions already voted in Parliament, thus speeding up enrichment. . Of uranium and to take more stringent positions in general.

In addition, the Islamic Republic will return to vote next June to elect a new president. It goes without saying that Zarif hints in an interview ReutersThe arrival of a fundamentalist to a spiritual chair would have the effect of removing any possibility of relaxation. Obviously, political will matters even more than deadlines. For now, the White House appears willing to reduce, not cancel, the sanctions, while maintaining the oil trade freeze while easing restrictions on humanitarian aid and possibly supporting the need for IMF intervention to support Iran. Half a step forward, and it will probably not be enough for Iranian moderates to override the “strong” resistance. But Washington has also withdrawn its support for the Sunni coalition fighting in Yemen against the Houthi rebels loyal to Iran: This is also a sign of détente towards Tehran. Just as deadlines can be exceeded, so can concessions be extended, if the goal is to reduce tension and if the will for peace prevails.

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Earl Warner

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