My quotes at Asia Times: “’Iran is incredibly demonized in the US. Take the statement from Senator Susan Collins who initially thought the siege on the Capitol building was being orchestrated by the Iranians. She’s a prime example of how so many Americans have internalized an anti-Iran worldview,’ said Pouya Alimagham, a lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s department of history.
‘As such, Biden will have to expend political capital to resurrect the Iran nuclear deal. He will have to expend even more if a hardline Iranian leader wins the presidency in 2021. Thus, time is of the essence, but it can be done if both have the will to do it,’ he added.”
Podcast on my book at the Iranian Studies Collective.
My quotes in Newsweek: “Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Pouya Alimagham, an author and Middle East historian, joined the global calls for action on Yemen. He argued that Washington should press Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to halt the conflict, regardless of the pace of JCPOA dealings.
‘The Saudi-Emirate war has not yielded any political results, and has instead only fostered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in the region’s poorest nation,’ Alimagham told Newsweek. ‘In that vein, there is simply no reason as to why the war should continue. Every indicator suggests that it should not have commenced in the first place, and should have ended long ago at the least.’
When it comes to the nuclear deal, he feels it is the U.S. side that needs to soften its ‘hardline’ stance, as it would enable a return by both parties.
‘I think a phased return in which the U.S. initiates a nominal step, such as removing some sanctions, could very well set in motion a series of events that leads to both returning to full compliance,’ Alimagham said.
‘To save face, the Biden administration can lift some sanctions in the name of humanitarian aid; the Trump administration had tightened sanctions on #Iran at the height of the pandemic, for which Iran was the region’s epicenter,” he said. “Should that happen, Iran would likely respond by taking nominal steps in the direction of returning to compliance.'”
My “Quick Thoughts” for Jadaliyya on the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Excerpt: “…if the entire premise of the sanctions regime was to pressure Iran to renegotiate the JCPOA, and no negotiations are to be had now that Trump is on his way out, why is he continuing to impose more sanctions on Iran? The explanation is that the purpose of the sanctions is the same as that of the assassination of Fakhrizadeh; it was never about Iran’s civilian nuclear program, but about ensuring that the US and Iran remain enemies.”