The Iran policy part of a new draft of Democratic Party’s 2020 platform which calls for “a responsible end to forever wars” has received mixed reactions in the United States and worried some in Israel, while politicians in Iran have remained silent about It.
Even compared to the party’s own platform in 2016, the new draft marks a shift in attitudes toward Iran.
The 80-page 2020 Democratic Party platform opposes regime change in Tehran. According to the Politico, Bernie “Sanders staffers pointed to some anti-interventionist language in the draft as a victory, particularly compared to the 2016 platform’s foreign policy proposals, which they viewed as overly hawkish.”
The Democratic Party platform maintains that “Democrats believe the United States should not impose regime change on other countries and reject that as the goal of U.S. policy toward Iran”.
The final draft of the Democratic Party platform also calls for returning to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 and subsequently the United States imposed new sanctions on Iran and called for a new agreement that would also constrain Iran’s ballistic missile program, its military ambitions in the Middle East, its violation of human rights as well as its controversial nuclear program.
The Democratic platform maintains that the JCPOA, “was always meant to be the beginning, not the end, of our diplomacy with Iran,” adding that the nuclear deal “remains the best means to verifiably cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb.”
Former Senator Joe Liberman and former Representative Mark Kirk (Rep), who represented an Illinois district as a Republican wrote in the NY Daily News on July 23 that “America’s commitment to policies that make Iran less dangerous is bipartisan, well-established and entirely necessary. With increased weaponry stockpiles, strengthened capabilities and more accurate military equipment, it is evident now more than ever that the threat from Tehran can only grow. Americans must work together to keep America safe.”
Meanwhile, Haaretz in Israel cited the opening statement of the platform which stresses “Democrats will call off the Trump Administration’s race to war with Iran and prioritize nuclear diplomacy, de-escalation, and regional dialogue. Democrats believe the United States should not impose regime change on other countries and reject that as the goal of U.S. policy toward Iran.”
In another reaction from Israel, the Jewish Insider quoted Likud minister Tzachi Hanegbi as saying on July 21 that “that while the Israeli government has remained impartial ahead of the U.S. presidential election, he is concerned that, should former Vice President Joe Biden win in November, the U.S. would re-join the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.”
He added that he was worried that Joe “Biden and other officials in the Democratic Party talk about going back to the JCPOA, which, in my opinion, would be a very, very big mistake,” adding that “I am not so sure that Democrats don’t still believe, like they did during the Obama administration, that engaging with Iran, trying to appease Iran, is a policy that is good for the United States.”
Many Iranians who are opposed to the Islamic Republic and seek a regime change have been content with President Donald Trump’s tough stance against Tehran. But some fear a Biden victory could change U.S. policy to a more conciliatory approach toward Iran.
In April, Biden called on Trump “to ease economic sanctions on Iran as a humanitarian gesture during the global coronavirus pandemic,” stressing that “the U.S. has a moral obligation to be among the first to offer aid to people in need regardless of where they live when confronting a virus that knows no borders or political affiliations,” Al-Jazeera reported at the time.
Iranian officials during the past months shunned all reconciliatory offers from the United States, including offers of help to alleviate the pressure of the pandemic on Iranians, probably waiting for the results of the elections in November.
President Donald Trump in June told Iran officials in a tweet not to wait for the election and start negotiations immediately to “make the Big Deal,” but Iran refused this offer too. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Trump’s offer was immediately rejected by the Iranian leadership, which now seems to harbor doubts that he will remain president and is hunkering down to survive American-led sanctions until they see the results of the November election.”