Is Biden About to Make a Deal with the Iranians? // A Closer Look

“For more than 40 years, this man [Ayatollah Khamenei], has brainwashed us Iranians to burn the flag of America. Now the people of Iran [are] risking imprisonment and burning his own billboard in the streets. The US government [is] ignoring these brave people and trying to get a deal from this dictator.”  —A tweet by the Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad about reports of attempts by the Biden administration to make a deal with Iran over its nuclear program

There are few ways to make a bigger impression than to go in front of the United States Congress and make a speech. That was the tack taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015, in an attempt to stop the US from making a nuclear deal with Iran.
But it didn’t work, and America signed the JCPOA with Iran anyway. Then in May of 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of that deal.
So far, despite the desire by some to reinstate it, Trump’s successor has been unable to do so. But there are reports that the Biden administration is currently negotiating some sort of deal with Iran­. Yet for some reason, Israel’s government is keeping unusually mum about the possibility.

The bad deal
After the US pulled out of the deal and imposed sanctions on Iran, the Iranians resumed enriching uranium in a fairly open and brazen way, and they also reduced the level of oversight by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They now have large stockpiles of 60% enriched uranium, which isn’t useful for making a bomb but can quickly be converted to weapons-grade uranium.
Then last Monday, Iran announced that it had been negotiating with the United States—indirectly through Oman—about its nuclear program and other issues. These talks have reportedly been going on for about seven months.
The details of the deal that Biden is nearing—as reported by The New York Times—are alarming. The US is asking for Iran to agree to not enrich uranium beyond 60%, to allow IAEA inspectors back in, and to not attack US forces or contractors in return for the release of $20 billion of frozen Iranian assets, with the assurance by the Iranians that the money will only be used for humanitarian purposes to relieve the suffering of the Iranian people. The deal would also include the release of US citizens being held in Iran.
If this sounds like a bad idea to you, you are not alone. A number of Republican members of Congress have demanded that the Biden administration explain why they are considering such a move.
Some Biden administration officials have denied the accuracy of the media reports. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday, “With regard to Iran, some of the reports that we’ve seen about an agreement on nuclear matters, or for that matter on detainees, are simply not accurate and not true.”