Starting last week there were widespread reports that this month's ongoing 'indirect' tanks between the US and Iran in Vienna were showing positive signs. This despite what's clearly an Israeli campaign to derail progress on the nuke deal front - something seen especially with the April 11 Natanz nuclear facility sabotage incident - as well as in the recent tanker tit-for-tat attacks.
And now the Associated Press is reporting that a major breakthrough appears to have arrived as Biden is mulling "a near wholesale rollback of some of the most stringent Trump-era sanctions."
So it appears the Islamic Republic's own "counter-pressure" campaign is working. At every point since Biden entered office, when Washington tried to tighten the screws by refusing to soften the prior Trump sanctions, Tehran increased its uranium enrichment purity as well as its numbers of centrifuges. Iran also recently threatened to boot IAEA inspectors from the country altogether, with the consistent demand of Iranian leaders from which they wouldn't budge being that the US would have to "move" first.
The AP on Wednesday afternoon is strongly suggesting this is precisely what's about to happen, at a moment GOP leaders are pointing to Biden's "caving" to the Islamic Republic's demands. The AP writes "American officials have become increasingly expansive about what they might be prepared to offer Iran, which has been driving a hard line on sanctions relief, demanding that all U.S. penalties be removed, according to these people."
While it remains undisclosed which sanctions are up on the chopping block, The Wall Street Journal late last week cited US officials who pointed to vital sectors such as banking, oil, national tanker companies, and steel and aluminum as likely the first to witness significant relief.
The Biden White House is further signaling that it refuses to be "boxed-in" by prior Trump actions:
"Biden administration officials say this is necessary because of what they describe as a deliberate attempt by the Trump administration to stymie any return to the deal."
Meanwhile, the usual neocons are outraged...
President Biden is rushing back to the failed Iran Nuclear Deal and turning a blind eye to Iran's terrorist activities. pic.twitter.com/TPY0TCLvdh— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) April 28, 2021
This also comes at a moment Republican hawks are accusing John Kerry of compromising intelligence secrets by allegedly sharing information on Israeli covert ops in Syria with the Iranians, despite much or all of that appearing to have been long ago reported public record.