Despite over two years of a campaign of “maximum pressure” waged by Washington, there is no sign that the Iranian leaders have any interest in seeking a negotiated settlement with the Trump administration. At this moment in time, Tehran appears hopeful President Trump will be defeated in November and that the next administration will return the United States back to the 2015 nuclear deal. However, even outside of the nuclear issue, a host of other disagreements keep the United States and Iran apart, a hard reality that has been true since the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
How did the Trump administration misread the Iranian leadership’s nuclear and regional policy calculations, and what lessons can a Biden presidency draw as it looks to construct its Iran policy agenda? Is it likely, or even advisable, that the United States return to the 2015 nuclear deal under a President Biden without seeking to expand the parameters of the original deal? Can Republicans and Democrats agree on an Iran policy that can be pursued irrespective of who is in the White House?
Senior fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Chairman, The Quincy Institute
Senior fellow and director, Middle East Security Program, Center for a New American Security
Director, foreign and defense policy studies, American Enterprise Institute
Alex Vatanka, moderator
Director and senior fellow, Iran Program, MEI