Biden to Lift Iran Sanctions, Only Question Is How Many

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009. (REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

We now know that President Biden is going to lift sanctions in a desperate move to get Iran to reenter the disastrous nuclear deal. The only question at this point is how broad the sanctions relief will be.

“We are prepared to lift sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA,” State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed to reporters. The JCPOA is short hand for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is the formal name for the Obama administration’s Iran deal.

However, in the Wednesday State Department briefing on the indirect talks taking place in Vienna, AP’s Matthew Lee noted that a raft of sanctions were inconsistent with the nuclear deal, including sanctions against Iran for terrorism, ballistic missile development, and human rights violations.

But Price refused to answer as to whether these would be part of the basket of sanctions Biden is prepared to wave away. (Video of the exchange below).

As we editorialized this week:

The only way this strategy makes sense is if it is by design. It’s no secret that Obama officials envisioned a realignment in the Middle East away from traditional alliances with Israel and Arab Gulf states toward a region in which Iran is more influential. And there is reason to believe that the Biden administration, which includes many of the same officials, shares a similar mentality. Concessions that make Iran more economically powerful are consistent with this vision.