French president Emmanuel Macron apparently doesn’t get it: Iran has no intention of allowing two of its principal enemies to join any jumpstarted JCPOA talks.
Macron again made his case on Friday that Israel and Saudi Arabia ought to be part of any new talks. Forget for a moment that there were multiple nations involved in original “Iran/nuke” deal. Now imagine the poison pills the Israelis and Saudis would add to any new conversations; the enmity each feels toward Iran is well documented.
If Macron insists, or worse if President Biden acquiesces to this hare-brained idea, then there will be no new talks. And that means Iran will continue advancing its nuclear program, knowing full well that Israel, Saudi Arabia or the United States at any moment could decide to undertake a solo or combined mission to — literally — blow it up.
Any strike like that would serve only to further ratchet up the tensions in the Middle East. No sane leader wants that, especially knowing that Iran’s foreign minister has tried to cool the propaganda suggesting Iran wants to destroy Israel. Meanwhile, there’s evidence the Saudis — the world’s largest Sunni Muslim state by population — regularly fires up the anti-Iran talk to domestic audiences. Remember, Iran is the world’s largest Shiite Muslim state by population.
There remains only one realistic path forward for the JCPOA: The Biden administration eases the brutal restrictions imposed on Iran by his predecessor and commits itself to renewed talks involving Iran and the nations that signed onto the original 2015 deal.
The Israelis and the Saudis can wait for a briefing after the fact. Perhaps Macron or one of his aides will deliver it.