US should restore diplomatic relations with Iran – former Pentagon official

A former US Department of Defense senior security policy analyst claims that the United States should use the nuclear agreement with Iran as a window of opportunity to restore diplomatic relations.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States should use the nuclear agreement with Iran as a window of opportunity to restore diplomatic relations, a former US Department of Defense senior security policy analyst told Sputnik.

“This is the time for the administration to go ahead regardless of what Congress does,” former defense official Michael Maloof said on Monday.

Maloof noted that diplomatic cooperation between the United States will make reversing the deal with Iran harder.

“Like the nuclear agreement, if it and other areas of cooperation prove to be working out by the time of the presidential elections, it will make any walking back of that cooperation more difficult to justify, especially if there is a true spirit of cooperation between the United States and Iran,” Maloof said.

On Sunday, the United Kingdom reopened its embassy in Tehran, four years after it closed the diplomatic mission. The UK’s announcement comes as European countries are eager to open up business relations with the large Iranian market.

US officials have said they have no intention of establishing relations with Iran as a host of issues remain between the two countries, including human rights concerns, support for terrorism and sanctions.

“Unlike the British, I believe the US seems to have more baggage to carry, namely the lack of support by Congress to the nuclear agreement and Israel’s control over US foreign policy, such as its frantic efforts to get Congress to block approval of the nuclear agreement,” Maloof added.

On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany — announced a final comprehensive agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.