Aidan Tysinski, Staff
Over the weekend, the Biden administration made massive changes to world diplomacy that contradicted many of the changes made by former President Donald Trump. On Thursday, the Biden administration announced its interest in negotiating to rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal. The next day, the United States officially rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement and on Saturday said America would give $4 billion to a global COVID-19 vaccine program.
In his first speech at the G7 as U.S. President, Biden declared to the European leaders that “America is back.” This is a stark message compared to President Trump, whose “America first” policy often made the U.S. seem isolated from many of its allies. In June 2017, when President Trump announced America was pulling out of the Paris agreement, the French president said the United States pulling out was a mistake, and when President Trump pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, German chancellor Angela Merkel said that the deal was the best way to keep an eye on Iran’s nuclear program.
Both the Paris agreement and the Iran Nuclear Deal were created for different issues. However, they both have support from many other countries around the world. The Paris Climate Agreement is a legally binding document created in 2014 with the goal of limiting global temperature changes to 1.5℃. To do this, each country creates a five-year plan to show how they will reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. These plans are created by each individual country that can change their goals during meetings set up about every five years.
The Iran Nuclear Deal was created to keep an eye on Iran and make sure no illegal weapons were being created by the country. The deal places certain limits on Iran, such as the amount of uranium the country can have at a time and the stopping of mining for new uranium. In return, all nuclear-based sanctions against Iran were dropped. The country was strictly looked over by the International Atomic Energy Agency, who made sure Iran was being compliant. When the United States pulled out of the deal, there were no records of Iran breaking any agreements set in place.
Both policies were something Biden pushed to go back to during his campaign. Not only does he think they are good for the country, but they were also policies he helped create during his time as vice president of the Obama administration. In the past, Biden called the Paris Climate Agreement “the most ambitious, inclusive climate agreement in history.” He was also a big defender of the Iran Nuclear Deal when the idea was first created.
Unfortunately for President Biden, rejoining international deals will not be as easy as he hoped. Domestically, many House and Senate Republicans have pushed back on both policies; they fear the Paris agreement is too restrictive for businesses and will get rid of many American jobs, while the Iran Nuclear Deal does not do enough to surveil Iran’s nuclear programs. Internationally, the United States will be greeted with open arms for rejoining the Paris agreement, but there are still issues with the Iranian government, who feel the United States broke their promise by getting rid of the deal and placing tariffs on Iranian goods, crushing Iran’s economy. Many Iranians are also still very angered with what they view as the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani last January. With many pressures coming from within the United States and internationally, it remains to be seen if Biden can successfully reconnect with old allies and create new ones from some of our most feared rivals.