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Issue Brief November 18, 2020

Renewing transatlantic strategy on Iran

By Ellie Geranmayeh, Barbara Slavin, and Sahil Shah

The election of former Vice President Joe Biden in the United States presents the prospect of major changes in US foreign policy, especially toward Iran. These changes cannot begin to be implemented until after Inauguration Day in January of the new year, while an urgent need exists for other players to bridge the gap.

None are better suited to this task than the US’s closest allies in Europe which have already played a significant role in the negotiations that led to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Britain, France and Germany – the E-3 – and the European Union have also worked tirelessly to keep the JCPOA alive in the face of the unilateral US withdrawal from the agreement in 2018, the imposition of draconian sanctions by the Trump administration and escalating tensions in the Middle East.

A new report by Ellie Geranmayeh, Barbara Slavin, and Sahil Shah presents a series of recommendations for the E-3 and the EU to preserve the JCPOA, promote regional peace and development and boost people-to-people contacts with Iran in concert with the new US administration. Taken together, these steps would amount to a renewed transatlantic diplomatic agenda through which the United States and European allies can stabilize the nuclear file and then build on the resulting diplomatic momentum to address other concerns with Iran.

Click here to download the report.

For media inquiries, please contact press@atlanticcouncil.org.

Related Experts: Barbara Slavin

Image: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shakes hands with High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of European Commission Josep Borrell in Tehran, Iran, February 3, 2020. Tasnim News Agency/via REUTERS.