Russia-Iran

Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif arrives at International Airport El Alto on Nov. 7, 2020, in La Paz, Bolivia.

Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program just got more interesting. And if President Joe Biden wants them to succeed, he should insist they proceed with one fewer member.

The news from Vienna this week is about a recording made in March for an oral history project. On the recording, which was first leaked to the Persian news channel Iran International and then The New York Times, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif acknowledges that he was often undermined and overruled by his country’s own security forces in negotiating the 2015 nuclear deal. The disclosure proved a point critics of those negotiations have often made: Zarif is merely a representative of, not a counterbalance to, Iran’s hard-liners.