Trump admin doing utmost to kill JCPOA: Wendy Sherman

November 15, 2020 - 18:12

TEHRAN – Wendy Sherman, the former U.S. nuclear negotiator with Iran, has said the Trump administration is trying to do whatever they can, quite frankly, to make it more difficult for the Biden administration to return to the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA).

“But a lot of these sanctions are going to actually be similar to things that have already been done, with new names on them. But the underlying sanctions, I think, are not fundamentally going to change,” Sherman said in an interview with the PRI published on Wednesday.

“So, a Biden-Harris administration is going to have to look at where we are. The president-elect has said he wants to reenter negotiations and build back better. So this will be a very complicated puzzle,” she said.

The outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump has pursued the “maximum pressure” policy against Iran in order to force Tehran to succumb to its demands. The policy was implemented after Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

Washington then slapped several rounds of harsh sanctions on Iran, claiming it was pursuing to negotiate a better deal with Iran than the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was clinched under his predecessor Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has voiced support for the JCPOA, saying his administration will rejoin the deal.

“We're not in 2016. We're in 2020 and almost to 2021. Time has passed. Circumstances have changed. And even though the deal was kept together by our European allies and by Russia and China, in the last year, I would say it has started to unravel a bit,” Sherman said.

“And although Iran has said it has taken reversible steps, nonetheless, we're not in the same place. So, this will be difficult, hard work. And I would suspect that President-elect Biden and his team will first start by talking with our European allies, with France, Great Britain, Germany, with the European Union, and then with Russia and China, to see what might be the best way forward,” she added.

She also said one thing that she knows about Iranian negotiators is that they are very tough. They're going to put as many chips on the table as possible before sitting down to talk with the new administration, the former diplomat said.


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