After weeks of negotiations in Europe, more than 50 members of the Democratic National Committee and state party leaders sent a letter Monday urging U.S. President Joe Biden to scrap his predecessor\u0026#039;s economic sanctions against Iran and return to the nuclear deal that was reached in 2015.\r\n\r\n\u0022Lifting Trump\u0026#039;s bad-faith sanctions—which he explicitly imposed on Iran in order to make a return to the JCPOA next-to-impossible—should not be treated as a concession to Iran, but rather as an effort to restore U.S. credibility and enhance American security.\u0022\r\n—53 Democrats\r\n\r\nThe letter (pdf), organized by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, notes that former President Donald Trump not only \u0022recklessly reneged\u0022 on the Iran nuclear deal—officially the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—in May 2018, despite warnings that doing so heightened the risk of war, but then engaged in a \u0022maximum pressure\u0022 campaign that featured devastating sanctions.\r\n\r\n\u0022The only result has been a vastly expanded Iranian nuclear program, increased regional instability, near U.S.-Iran war on multiple occasions, and severe economic sanctions that have contributed to a dire humanitarian crisis inside Iran,\u0022 the letter says. \u0022As a result, America\u0026#039;s credibility has been severely damaged and its national security damaged. Trump\u0026#039;s decision made America less safe.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe Democrats commend Biden \u0022for pledging to return to the JCPOA and for beginning a multilateral diplomatic process with other world powers to return all sides to compliance with the accord through the compliance-for-compliance formula,\u0022 adding that the deal \u0022is of such critical value to U.S. national security that the issue of who goes first should not become an obstacle.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Moreover, lifting Trump\u0026#039;s bad-faith sanctions—which he explicitly imposed on Iran in order to make a return to the JCPOA next-to-impossible—should not be treated as a concession to Iran, but rather as an effort to restore U.S. credibility and enhance American security,\u0022 the letter emphasizes.\r\n\r\nThe Obama administration, for which Biden served as vice president, \u0022did not only prove that diplomacy with Iran works, it also proved that no other policy tool advances American security more effectively than diplomacy,\u0022 the letter adds, referencing the initial agreement, the result of nearly two years of negotiations. \u0022We urge you to continue on this proven path of success.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHonored to join this letter as a signatory. Proud to stand with @RepBarbaraLee @ninaturner @keithellison @DavidOAtkins @tomaskenn @votesanjaypatel for diplomacy with Iran. Thank you to @YasmineTaeb for leading this call to reinstate U.S.-Iran relations. https://t.co/TPduUqwirx\r\n— Nadia B. Ahmad (@NadiaBAhmad) May 10, 2021\r\n\r\n\r\nKey signatories include Minnesota Attorney General and former DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), human rights lawyer and former Virginia Democratic Committeewoman Yasmine Taeb, DNC Youth Council Chair Michael Kapp, DNC member and Climate Hawks Vote co-founder RL Miller, DNC member and Ohio congressional candidate Nina Turner, and Michelle Deatrick, founding chair of the DNC Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis.\r\n\r\n\u0022Rejoining the Iran nuclear deal and lifting Trump\u0026#039;s bad-faith sanctions is not only supported by rank-and-file Democrats in red, purple, and blue states, but also by our Democratic Party leaders from all across the country,\u0022 Taeb said. \u0022President Biden pledged to chart a new course and called for a foreign policy for the middle class that will end forever wars and focus on the immediate domestic crises and that begins by rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal and rejecting Trump\u0026#039;s failed approach on Iran.\u0022\r\n\r\nAs a presidential candidate, Biden pledged to return to the deal—which tracks with his decades in U.S. politics.\r\n\r\n\u0022A Politico review of available records, speeches, and congressional statements found that when it came to Iran, Biden has long tried to walk a careful path, one that is wary, yet hopeful; politically aware, yet politically risky; and often focused on incremental gains in the hopes of seeding long-term results,\u0022 foreign affairs correspondent Nahal Toosi reported Sunday.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nExcellent piece by @nahaltoosi, documenting Biden\u0026#039;s long history of seeking to advance US interest by ending US-Iran enmity.\r\n\r\nBiden instinctively understands that the JCPOA isnt enough. For it to survive, the relationship as a whole needs to change.https://t.co/Idt5VQICGS\r\n— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) May 9, 2021\r\n\r\n\r\nBoth Ellison and Lee highlighted the importance of their party—and president—embracing diplomacy rather than Trump\u0026#039;s more hostile approach.\r\n\r\n\u0022Returning to the JCPOA is essential for reassuring the world that the United States\u0026#039; word is good,\u0022 said Lee. \u0022As Democrats, we must put diplomacy at the center of our foreign policy and prove that America fulfills its commitments as a responsible actor on the world stage.\u0022\r\n\r\nAccording to Ellison, \u0022It is essential for the United States to return to the Iran nuclear deal, which necessitates the lifting of Trump’s bad-faith sanctions.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022The Democratic Party should fight to end rampant militarization and promote multilateralism that enabled the United States to resolve the nuclear issue with Iran without a single shot being fired,\u0022 he added.\r\n\r\nThe letter, which comes after similar recent messages from dozens of Senate Democrats and advocacy groups, follows New York Times reporting that \u0022after five weeks of shadow boxing in Vienna hotel rooms—where the two sides pass notes through European intermediaries—it has become clear that the old deal, strictly defined, does not work for either of them anymore, at least in the long run.\u0022\r\n\r\nAs the Times reported Sunday:\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Iranians are demanding that they be allowed to keep the advanced nuclear-fuel production equipment they installed after Mr. Trump abandoned the pact, and integration with the world financial system beyond what they achieved under the 2015 agreement.\r\n\r\nThe Biden administration, for its part, says that restoring the old deal is just a steppingstone. It must be followed immediately by an agreement on limiting missiles and support of terrorism—and making it impossible for Iran to produce enough fuel for a bomb for decades. The Iranians say no way.\r\n\r\n\r\nMeanwhile, the Times noted, the Israelis \u0022continue a campaign of sabotage and assassination to cripple the Iranian program—and perhaps the negotiations themselves.\u0022\r\n\r\nGerman Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Monday told Reuters that \u0022the negotiations are tough and laborious but all participants are conducting the talks in a constructive atmosphere.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022However, time is running out,\u0022 Maas added, emphasizing that the goal is the full restoration of the Iran nuclear deal.