The Iranian regime seems eager as well, albeit far less so than Biden, to reach a new and improved nuclear deal that will provide sanctions relief and allow it to stabilize and strengthen its standing domestically.
Despite these starting points, however, there has been no breakthrough over the past year, and negotiations were repeatedly extended as crisis after crisis kept Washington and Tehran apart. Truth be told, it was the Iranians who created these crises and even suspended talks on occasion, as if they were entirely uninterested in a new deal. Washington, for its part, found itself being dragged along, responding tentatively to Iran’s moves and mainly its provocations.
At a certain point, around a month or two ago, it seemed the Americans had given up on the possibility of reaching a deal. In Washington, officials even remarked that “all options were on the table”—a clumsy and particularly inauthentic insinuation that a military strike was possible.
Miraculously, though, and amid the backdrop of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing and Moscow—the latter of which has massed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border—the talks were renewed, and Iranian and American mouthpieces are now predicting an impending breakthrough that will lead both sides to the yearned-for deal. Even Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave a green light to a deal, declaring that “talks, and by extension, a deal with the enemy, do not mean Iran’s surrender.”