- The Trump administration has been on a collision course with Iran.
- The Joe Biden administration is likely to renegotiate with Iran.
- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been snubbed by EU lawmakers.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed that Iran is assisting Al Qaeda operatives in the region by providing them with legal documentation and logistical support. According to the official, Iran and AL Qaeda got into an agreement soon after the signing of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. That said, no official intelligence records have been cited regarding this.
His statement comes at a time when the Trump administration is leaving office. His administration has been on a collision course with Tehran ever since it came into power.
Secretary Pompeo’s allegation comes just days after Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused the US of making false statements designed to stir up trouble.
In his averment, Ayatollah Khamenei additionally claimed that America’s current leadership woes are reparations for its malicious overtures in the Middle East. He tweeted:
The US openly says its interests require instability in this region. The US wanted to start a civil war in Iran in 2009, and now God has afflicted them with the same predicament in 2021. The recent chaos reached a point where Congress members had to escape through secret tunnels.
Better Relations With Biden Expected
President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal in 2015, and his reimposition of sanctions on Iran, rekindled tensions with the US.
That said, there is hope that things will change once the Joe Biden administration takes over. According to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, embracing the Iranian nuclear deal would help the US government resolve the current crisis.
While noting the “downward spiral” of relations between the two nations, he has expressed optimism in a “final window” that would allow them to reach an agreement.
“To make possible a rapprochement with the U.S. under Biden, there should be no further tactical maneuvers of the kind we’ve seen too many of in the recent past. This chance, this last window of opportunity, must not be wasted,” he said.
EU Officials Snub Pompeo
Despite Secretary Pompeo’s negative assertions about Iran, major EU economies still look forward to Iran–US renegotiations. There are already emerging reports of EU diplomats refusing to meet Secretary Pompeo this week. The development has apparently led to a canceled trip to Brussels to meet a group of EU leaders.
Not Everyone Wants a US–Iran Deal
While Mr. Biden has shown interest in taking part in Iran renegotiations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has warned that renegotiating with Iran would embolden it to further develop its uranium enrichment program.
“If we just go back to the JCPOA, what will happen and may already be happening is that many other countries in the Middle East will rush to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. That is a nightmare and that is folly. It should not happen,” he has said.
Israel is one of Iran’s biggest rivals in the Middle East. As such, the Israeli leadership is understandably concerned that closer ties between Tehran and Washington would undermine the greater strategy to systematically isolate Iran in the region.