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What Biden’s $6 billion ransom teaches our enemies

Simply this: Take more hostages.

U.S. President Joe Biden. Source: Twitter/@POTUS.
U.S. President Joe Biden. Source: Twitter/@POTUS.
Jason Shvili
Jason Shvili
Jason Shvili is a contributing editor at Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which publishes educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.

Reports confirm the Biden administration will gift Iran a whopping $6 billion in exchange for the release of five American hostages. This decision is a godsend for outcast regimes and terrorists around the world—starting with Iran itself—that will no doubt feel emboldened to pursue further acts of belligerence against America and its allies. 

The decision reflects the president’s naive view that friendly diplomacy can subdue our enemies. Rather, Biden’s policies have only encouraged rogue elements like Iran’s Islamist regime to continue on the path of aggression and terrorism. At this point, those who wish to defeat the United States must be asking themselves, “With enemies like Biden, who needs friends?”

Biden’s payment to Iran will be the biggest ransom paid in centuries. The United States will be paying the mullahs $1.2 billion per prisoner. There are only two other instances in recorded history when a bigger ransom per hostage was paid. 

In 1190, King Richard the Lionheart of England was kidnapped by the Duke of Austria. He was freed in exchange for the equivalent of $3.3 billion in today’s money. In 1532, Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro kidnapped Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor. He freed the Inca leader in exchange for the equivalent of $1.5 billion in today’s money.

Thus, the Biden administration will be paying the biggest ransom in nearly five centuries and the third biggest ransom per captive in history. And this is assuming that the total ransom payment to Iran will be just $6 billion. 

According to an article in The New York Sun, it’s possible the ransom will also include recently unfrozen funds from Iraqi and other banks, which would raise the value of the total ransom to $16 billion—$3.2 billion per hostage. 

The Biden administration has no way of ensuring its ransom to Iran will not fund more terrorism—in fact, this outcome seems almost guaranteed. The administration claims that under the terms of the deal, the $6 billion given to Iran can only be used for humanitarian needs. But according to Iranian officials, there will be no restrictions on how the money can be used.

Even if there is an understanding between Iran and the United States that the former will only use the $6 billion ransom payment for humanitarian causes, how will the Biden administration ensure that the mullahs abide by this part of the deal? 

According to the Washington Examiner, Qatar “will supposedly supervise the account holding the $6 billion to ensure funds are not diverted to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or other such organizations.”

Seriously? Qatar is already Iran’s unofficial partner in crime. The two countries both support Islamist terrorist groups in the region, including Hamas and Hezbollah. 

Even if Iran does use the $6 billion for humanitarian needs, it can reallocate money already used for humanitarian causes to its bigger priority—financing terrorism.

Indeed, the ransom payment will allow Iran to dramatically increase funding to its proxy terrorist organizations. Consider, for example, that Iran currently funds Hamas to the tune of up to $150 million annually, while it gives Hezbollah about $700 million per year.

This means that Iran spends just under a billion dollars funding these two terrorist organizations. Add $6 billion to the Islamic State’s coffers and there’s no telling how much more funding the mullahs will give their terrorist proxies, not to mention the possibility that the Iranians will spend the extra money on advancing their nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Furthermore, Biden’s ransom will only encourage Iran and other rogue regimes to pursue the strategy of holding hostages in exchange for big rewards from the United States. Consider that in December last year, Russia freed WNBA star Brittney Griner in exchange for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout. Barely three months later, Russia imprisoned American journalist Evan Gershkovich. And now that the Russians know the Biden administration is willing to part with $1.2 billion for one hostage, the price to free Gershkovich will likely be very high, if not higher than the ransom given to the Iranians. 

Consider, also, that after Israel freed 1,000 Palestinian prisoners—many of them with the blood of innocent Israelis on their hands—in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011, Palestinian terrorists have repeatedly attempted to take more Israelis hostage—and have succeeded, twice. 

Hamas took one Israeli hostage in 2014 and another a year later. They also still hold the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war. The Palestinian terrorists will surely be emboldened to try and extract a very heavy price from Israel in exchange for these individuals—or at least their bodies—after seeing what Iran is getting for the release of five U.S. hostages.    

Biden’s ransom deal with Iran is part of his administration’s naive strategy of appeasement—the same failed strategy British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. 

Nevertheless, The New York Times put a positive spin on the deal, with a headline that reads, “Prisoner Deal Could Smooth Effort to Contain Iran’s Nuclear Program.” Indeed, there are reports that Biden will try to include a freeze on Iran’s nuclear enrichment as part of his deal with the Islamist dictatorship.

The Times goes on to say, “The announcement of a prisoner exchange deal between the United States and Iran could increase prospects for further diplomatic cooperation.”

It would appear that the Times supports Biden’s strategy of appeasement.

No surprise: Eighty-five years ago, the Times also spoke positively of Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement with Hitler, proclaiming on October 1, 1938, that “the peace of Europe seems assured for a generation at least.” World War II broke out less than a year later. So much for appeasement.

If Biden believes he can offer America’s enemies a mere finger without them taking the whole hand, he is sorely mistaken. In fact, if history is any measure, America’s enemies will not only take the hand but the rest of the body as well.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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