Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, seems to be delighted that President Trump is on his way out and President-elect Joe Biden is on his way in. Go figure.
The country's foreign minister has proposed "a return to full compliance" of the Iran nuclear deal if Biden lifts sanctions that have been ordered onto the country by President Trump. He has commented that Biden's administration can use executive orders to lift the sanctions.
Zarif told a state owned newspaper this week: “The fact that Mr. Biden wants to return to the nuclear deal is great. We’re ready to hold talks over how the U.S. can re-enter the nuclear deal.”
Eager to make Biden his lapdog, he continued: “I expect the situation to significantly improve in the next few months. When Mr. Biden decides to fulfill U.S. obligations, we will be ready to quickly return to our commitments. This process is not time-consuming at all.”
His comments were described by Bloomberg as "the most conciliatory yet since Biden was proclaimed the winner" of the U.S. election. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Biden's election could allow Iran to “move away from an environment of threat under the current insurgent U.S. government toward an environment of opportunities.”
The country's eagerness to jump back into the 2015 deal belies the fact that the country's uranium stockpile has eclipsed limits set by the deal. Since Trump backed out of the deal, Iran's stockpile has risen by eightfold to over 5,291 pounds. It's enough "to create three bombs," Bloomberg notes.
The director general of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency said this week that the country is using new high-tech machines to produce nuclear fuel, despite the country denying that it aspires to build bombs. The agency is seeking answers from the country about traces of man-made uranium found at a warehouse in Iran.
In addition to putting distance between the U.S. and Iran, the Trump administration has also sought to arm Iran's foes, selling weapons to both Israel and the UAE. Iran will be dealing with a potential political sea change of its own, as it approaches an election in June. The country's economy has "crumbled" under the U.S. sanctions levied upon it.
Biden said back in September: “If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations” that would strengthen and extend the deal’s provisions “while also addressing other issues of concern.”