columnU.S.-Israel Relations

America’s double game on Iran

The Biden administration’s strategy endangers not just Israel but America and the free world.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden, delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear agreement in the East Room of the White House on July 14, 2015. Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden, delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear agreement in the East Room of the White House on July 14, 2015. Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.
Melanie Phillips
Melanie Phillips
Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for The Times of London, her personal and political memoir, Guardian Angel, has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, The Legacy, in 2018. To access her work, go to:

While attention is focused on Rafah and the world’s energies are directed at punishing Israel for daring to defend itself against extermination, an enemy of humanity is about to get the nuclear bomb. And the Biden administration, despite its furious denials, is helping it to do so.

A leaked report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has stated that Iran’s stockpile of 60% highly enriched uranium has risen since February by 20.6 kg to 142.1 kg and is at its highest level to date.

U.S. officials say that this material could be converted into weapons-grade enriched uranium in a matter of days. It would then be enough to fuel three nuclear weapons.

Alarmed by this development, the United Kingdom, France and Germany have prepared a resolution of censure against Iran for next week’s IAEA board meeting, which will review Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Yet according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration has pressured these countries to back off from censuring Iran. It has also urged a number of other countries to abstain in any censure vote, saying that is what Washington will do.

This is a remarkable development. It’s astonishing that the United States plans to abstain from censuring Iran (although at the time of writing, there are rumors that America is now wobbling). A nuclear Iran won’t just pose an existential threat to Israel. It will spark a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East and will take Iran’s four-decade war against America and the West to a different level altogether.

Until now, there have been no public cracks in the common front between the United States, Britain and Europe over how to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat. In 2015, former President Barack Obama brokered a disastrous deal with Iran. Spun by Obama’s “echo chamber” as a way of preventing Tehran from getting nuclear weapons, it actually legitimized an Iranian nuclear bomb after merely a few years’ delay while funding Iran’s murderous activities through sanctions relief.  

Britain and France, in particular, were gung-ho for that deal. But now, the United Kingdom, France and Germany have broken ranks with America.

European diplomats say that, although Iranian violations of the NPT are “unprecedented” in number, the Biden administration appears unwilling either to pursue a serious diplomatic effort with Tehran or take punitive actions against its nuclear transgressions.

U.S. officials have dismissed these claims. They insist that the U.S. is increasing pressure on Iran through sanctions and international isolation, and they claim not to have lobbied or diplomatically pressured any countries to vote against or abstain from a resolution on Iran.

Far from putting pressure on Tehran, however, the Biden administration has been systematically appeasing it.

For the last 18 months, as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies has noted, Washington has refused to support a fresh IAEA censure of Iran. Instead, the U.S. has unfrozen Iranian assets and helped Tehran evade sanctions through waivers that have funneled billions into its coffers. Iranian oil exports have consequently surged to 1.82 million barrels a day, the highest total since the Trump administration reinstated sanctions in 2018.

In the war that’s been raging in the Middle East since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led Palestinian pogrom in southern Israel, the U.S. has been limp-wristed in its response to attacks upon its assets by Iranian proxies, carefully avoiding killing any Iranians themselves.

In April, Israel was directly attacked by hundreds of Iranian rockets, missiles and drones—an onslaught described as a “game-changer.” Although the United States came to Israel’s defense, the Americans not only urged it to restrain its response but also declared publicly that they would not take part in any offensive actions against Iran.

Far worse, the Biden administration has constantly undermined Israel’s attempt to defend itself in the multi-front war being waged against it by Iranian proxies. The United States has actually helped Hamas in Gaza by forcing Israel into paralyzing hostage negotiations; insisting on supplying Gaza with humanitarian aid, most of which was stolen by Hamas to strengthen and enrich itself; and forbidding the Israelis to launch a preemptive attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon to neutralize the vast missile batteries there, which have been unleashing attacks upon northern Israel ever since Oct. 7.

In other words, although the U.S. initially rushed to Israel’s defense, this was part of the Biden administration’s strategy of double-talk—appearing to support the Jewish state by providing it with sufficient defenses to avoid annihilation, while ensuring that it can’t win against Hamas or Hezbollah.

That only makes sense if you realize that America aims to keep the Iranian regime in play. And that doesn’t make sense at all.

The murderous Iranian regime is a threat to the entire world. It has waged a terrorist war against America and the West since it came to power in 1979. It is intent upon the destruction of Israel.

The Mossad has reportedly said that Iran recruited crime organizations in Europe to strike Israeli and Jewish targets, including an incident last weekend when two grenades were thrown at the Israeli embassy in Belgium and in January when a grenade was thrown at the Israeli embassy in Sweden but failed to explode.

Iran is supplying Russia with arms and is in bed with communist China. It takes Western hostages and murders its internal opponents.

Now an Iranian Jew, 20-year-old Arvin Nathaniel Ghahremani, faces imminent execution for the crime of killing a man in self-defense after Ghahremani was attacked with a knife.

So why in heaven’s name would the U.S. want to prop up this evil Iranian regime?

In a seminal article in Tablet in 2021, Michael Doran and Tony Badran asserted that this was a continuation of the Obama doctrine of “realignment” to establish a new regional order in the Middle East. America’s allies, Obama had said, needed to learn “to share the neighborhood” with Iran. Their hostility was preventing Washington from exploiting the “more pragmatic dimensions” of the Iranian regime.

This got the situation precisely back to front. The “hostility” of America’s allies was due to their understanding that the Iranian regime wasn’t pragmatic at all, but driven by totally uncompromising and murderous religious fanaticism.

According to the realignment doctrine, however, America would help its allies protect themselves against Iranian or Iran-backed attacks but would force them to respect Iran’s positions of power in places such as Syria, Iraq and Yemen. “Thus, in practical terms,” wrote Doran and Badran, “America will use its influence to elevate the interests of Iran over those of U.S. allies in key areas of the Middle East.”

That’s precisely the game the Biden administration—aka, Obama’s third term—is playing in Israel’s desperate fight for its life. While helping prevent Israel’s total annihilation, the U.S. is hanging the Jewish state out to dry.

America’s empowerment of Iran enabled the Oct. 7 pogrom because Hamas is funded, trained and strategized by the Iranian regime. The war waged against Israel ever since is a continuation of Iran’s war of annihilation against the Jewish state.

On the sidelines of the funeral of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed in a helicopter crash earlier this month, a meeting of the “resistance front” was held in Tehran. This was attended by Iranian military commanders and representatives of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hezbollah and the Houthis of Yemen. Their topic was the need to “continue jihad and struggle until a complete victory is achieved in the Gaza Strip with the participation of all the resistance groups in the region.”

The head of this murderous snake is Iran. Yet America refuses to lop it off. As a result, the Biden administration now poses a danger not just to Israel but to America itself and the free world.

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