It has been a few days since Iran and China signed their long-term strategic partnership and the Americans are already riled up. Fearful of its prospects, Biden now plans to come forward.
Less than a week ago, Islamic Republic of Iran officially entered a 25-year long pact with the People Republican of China, changing the whole outlook for the Middle-East forever. This strategic partnership was first proposed by the Chinese back in 2016 right after the easing of sanctions following the signing of 5 + 1 accord with Iran more commonly referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Being one of the most oil-dependent countries in the world, China has long sought to broaden its alliances with oil-rich countries. Meanwhile, Iran, being sanctioned and all, would benefit from having an alliance with the U.S. biggest rival in the world.
Though Chinese and Iranians themselves appear quite exuberant about the prospects of such a deal, somewhere in the western hemisphere not everybody is happy with such an outcome, most notably the newly elected president of the U.S. who perceives such an alliance as a threat to its larger agenda concerning the region. Though by no means a fan of restoring the JCPOA, Biden and his team were always of the mind that a diplomatic solution such as that would constrain Iranian government far more than aggressive policies of previous administrations which only led to the exertion of greater influence on the part of Iran. Unfortunately for him and his like-minded peers, Trump’s government effectively smothered any chances of restraining Iran’s activities within the region.
When Donald Trump took over the government back in 2016, he made it his priority to dismantle Obama’s political legacy, chief among them his Paris Accord and of course the JCPOA. During his campaign, Trump had pledged to slash the deal, to which he referred to as the worst deal ever made, and to impose the harshest sanctions ever on Iran. He did deliver that promise on 8 May when he officially announced the withdrawal from the deal and went on to fully implement the so-called “maximum pressure” policy on Iran. In spite of the high economic pressure being imposed upon the country, Iran resisted Trump’s bullish policy nonetheless and went on to become a regional powerhouse in opposition to the Americans ambitions. Things however didn’t work out for Trump quite as he pictured them to be.
Contrary to his belief, Trump never got to be elected to serve a second term. The man who constantly boasted of the deal he was going to force the Iranians to make in less than a week from his reelection was now accused of sedition. Hiding in Mar-a-Lago, Trump effectively handed over a government to his successor that had no diplomatic achievement whatsoever. All that effort put through by Obama and his team, all that coalition-building challenges, suddenly got huffed and puffed with the Europeans even giving the right to the Iranians. In the Middle-East things got more complicated and Iran became more emboldened in fulfilling the commitments and now with China backing it, Biden is having a hard time swallowing the new Middle-East, courtesy of Trump and family.
Recently there have been reports that Biden’s team is already busy making plans to bring Iran once again to the table. Failing to appeal to the Iranians better sense thanks to his predecessor’s blatant betrayal, Biden seeks to initiate the dialogue now that the China is growing closer to Iran. There are no signs of his previous stance and evidently he feels the long-term dangers posed by this new partnership. For that there have also been talks about relieving some of the sanctions in exchange of halting the uranium enrichment but nothing has been codified as of late. His team has said that the next few weeks shall be the make-or-break period for the JCPOA and the future of relations between U.S. and Iran but even now an amateur merchant can see whose scale is heavier in the talks to come.