The Iran deal could easily have been maintained had it not been for a series of perverse policy choices by Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Now, with the deal scrapped, Israel and the US are once again threatening to attack Iran.

By Branko Marcetic, Jacobin

After a seemingly never-ending will-they-won’t-they on the US-Iranian revival of the Iran nuclear deal, we seem to have an answer: they won’t.

As of today, officials from the United States, Europe, and Israel all say that the deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is dead, at least for the foreseeable future. Reentering the deal was a major campaign promise of Joe Biden’s, it was something he didn’t need Congress to do, and it would have meant restoring one of the signature achievements of his Democratic predecessor, whose accomplishments Biden virtually treated as his own on the campaign trail. So how did it fail?

Biden negotiating at a summit

Hopes for renewing the agreement were, at first, raised after Tehran in August dropped its opposition to what seemed like the last sticking point in US-Iranian talks, namely the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s (IRGC) terrorist designation. That had been a poison pill deliberately issued by Donald Trump to complicate the deal’s revival, making Iran’s compromise on the matter significant.

But since then, new roadblocks arose. On the Iranian side, its hard-line government demanded extra guarantees to minimize the effects of a future US administration violating and pulling out of the agreement, which Trump had done in 2018.

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