Biden on fire: New US president takes on China, Iran

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Feb 07, 2021, 10:01 PM(IST)

Joe Biden Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

When China thought it had a chance, or Iran -- for that matter -- said it would only return to its nuclear commitments, when US lifts the sanctions, Biden surprised them.

Joe Biden, in his election campaign, made an impassioned case to undo every wrong his Republican predecessor had done, and won over America quite convincingly. And, now when he has successfully donned the hat of the US president, he has impeccably taken on the challenges.

So when China thought it had a chance, or Iran -- for that matter -- said it would only return to its nuclear commitments, when US lifts the sanctions, Biden surprised them.

Biden, on a CBS interview aired Sunday, said the US rivalry with China would most likely take the form of "extreme competition" rather than conflict between the two world powers.

He added he has not spoken with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping since he became US president.

"He's very tough. He doesn't have -- and I don't mean it as a criticism, just the reality -- he doesn't have a democratic, small D, bone in his body," Biden said.

When asked about Iran's condition to resume nuclear commitments, Biden offered a clear reply: "No."

He said he won't lift sanctions against Tehran as long as the Islamic republic is not adhering to its nuclear deal commitments. 

The journalist then asked if the Iranians would first have to stop enriching uranium, which drew an affirmative nod from Biden.

Also read | Iran says won't resume nuclear commitments until US lifts sanctions

Former US president Donald Trump exited the nuclear accord between Iran and six powers in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

Iran a year later suspended its compliance with most key nuclear commitments to the deal.

The Biden administration has expressed willingness to return to the deal, but insisted that Tehran first resume full compliance.

On January 4, Iran announced it has stepped up its uranium enrichment process to 20 per cent purity, far above the 3.67 per cent level permitted by the deal, but far below the amount required for an atomic bomb.
 

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