It's pretty much a constant theme in Antiwar.com's news section -- the Iranians are ready and willing to enter into a new "nuclear deal" to replace the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but the US (which is in continuing violation of the existing deal) keeps backing, filling, hemming, hawing, etc.
Let's rehearse the steps that led to the JCPOA in the first place:
US: We want a deal. Here are our demands.
Iranians: OK, cool, let's do this!
US: Well, in that case, no, we have further demands.
Iranians: Sounds good, let's do this!
US: Wait there's more!
Lather, rinse, repeat for more than a decade until Barack Obama needed a foreign policy accomplishment and finally did the JCPOA with Iran (and China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany).
After which it failed to fulfill its obligations under the deal until Donald Trump pretended to "withdraw" from the deal (he didn't actually "withdraw" from it because he couldn't -- it's a UN Security Council resolution and therefore binding on all UN member states -- he just announced the US would continue to be in intentional violation of it).
All of this, lest we forget, despite a lack of any substantial evidence that the Iranians had any desire to develop nuclear weapons, and despite that fact that the Iranians were perpetually in compliance with their obligations under the already existing Non-Proliferation Treaty.
So, here we are: The US is in continuing violation of the deal, the European signatories kowtow to the US sanctions while telling Iran it's not their fault, and the Iranians have progressively gone into violation of the deal because why should they keep a deal that nobody else is keeping?
Here's what the Iranians should do:
- Approach all the non-US state parties to the JCPOA with an offer to come back into immediate complete compliance if
- Those other state parties immediately return to compliance with the deal (including any sanctions relief they're withholding under US pressure), and
- Those other state parties agree to sanction the US in the same way and to the same degree that the US is sanctioning Iran if, within 90 days, the US remains in non-compliance.