Secretary of State on US Relations: Iran: Biden knows better than Trump


US relations with Iran have been going downhill since Trump took office – the current US president doesn’t believe the regime is serious about renouncing nuclear weapons. The Iranian foreign minister now says what he expects from the next President Biden.
Iran wants to ease tensions with the US under Joe Biden’s presidency. “We don’t want to start friendship, we just want to reduce unnecessary tensions and hostilities,” said Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Zarif in a video interview on the news portal Entechab. A rapprochement with the USA after Biden took office is in the interests of the country and the people. Party political considerations should therefore not call this approximation into question.

He knew Biden as a senator from his time as Iran’s ambassador to the UN in New York (2002-2007) and had also met him personally. “Biden has been involved in US foreign policy since the 1970s and is far more familiar with it than (US President Donald) Trump,” said Sarif. In his opinion, there will be mistrust and differences between the two countries under Biden too, but far less than under Trump. Sarif and President Hassan Ruhani hope that Biden will lead the US back to the 2015 Vienna nuclear deal and lift the sanctions against Iran.

Trump not only got out of the nuclear deal in 2018, which he branded the “worst deal in history”, but had also imposed draconian sanctions on the Islamic Republic. This led to the oil-rich country’s worst economic crisis in the past two years. The corona pandemic over the past ten months has further exacerbated the crisis. The local currency, the rial, lost half of its value.

Observers agree that only negotiations with the new American president can lead Iran out of this crisis. On Friday, however, there was a fatal attack on the Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fachrisadeh, for which Tehran blames “local mercenaries” of the US and Israel. The attack could lead to new tensions between Tehran and Washington and make negotiations with the Biden government more difficult. The hardliners in Iran are demanding vengeance and their mouthpiece, the daily newspaper “Kejhan”, even a military attack on the Israeli port city of Haifa. Whether the US or Israel is actually behind the attack has not yet been determined.

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