As the Biden administration rallies the free world to sanction and isolate Russia in the wake of its horrific invasion of Ukraine, it is rushing headlong to revive a nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s No. 1 sponsor of terror.
How eager is President Biden to make a deal with the mullahs? Let us count the ways.
A year ago, Biden and his team assured us they’d settle for nothing less than a deal that was “longer and stronger” than the flawed original. Now, with an overeager Rob Malley heading the U.S. delegation in Vienna, it looks like they’ll be settling for something even worse than the original.
As Ilan Berman, senior vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, writes in The Wall Street Journal, the likeliest outcome is “a compromise pact far less comprehensive and robust than the original. Experts have warned against the dangers of such a ‘less for more’ deal, which would impose fewer restrictions on Iran’s stubborn nuclear effort while providing Tehran with more-lavish concessions and sanctions relief than before.”
This caving in by the world’s most powerful country is a dark development for the future of the Middle East, and will bring the opposite of peace and stability.
First, regardless of what deal they sign, the Iranians are proven cheaters and deceivers. They can outwit any verification protocol, making their promises tenuous at best.
Second, even if they don’t cheat, the deal has a sunset clause that allows Iran to eventually build a nuclear weapon. When you’ve been around 5,000 years, it’s no big deal to wait a few more for your dream bomb.
Third, and equally important, the billions in sanctions relief will enable Iran to increase its terror-proxy activities throughout the region. Nothing in the deal curbs that conventional threat.
As Likud Knesset member Nir Barkat told me on a podcast last Friday, Iran is connected to all 250,000 rockets surrounding Israel. It can attack Israel on six fronts: Lebanon, Gaza, Syria, via long-range missiles from Iraq and Yemen, and Judea and Samaria. In its war to eradicate the Jewish state, he added, it will even use Arab Israelis.
When Iran’s top ayatollah calls Israel a “malignant cancerous tumor” that must “be removed and eradicated,” can Israel afford to not take these intentions seriously?
Beyond the lethal threat to Israel, Iran’s predatory nature also has repercussions for the whole region. Especially at a time when the Abraham Accords are offering new hope for the long-suffering people of the area, the theocratic oppressors in Tehran are offering only more violence and despair.
That is the evil regime that the Biden administration is eager to empower. It is so eager, in fact, that last week it made a unilateral concession. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Secretary of State Antony Blinken “restored sanctions waivers on Iranian civilian nuclear activity,” which means that “foreign companies working on such projects will now be exempt from economic penalties.”
How did the Iranians respond to this goodwill gesture from the Americans? They did what expert poker players do when faced with a sucker—keep a straight face and act like you’re holding four aces. “Good but not enough” was their answer.
Biden may indeed believe that he’s holding a crummy hand. The alarming rise in gas prices, in the wake of his failed policy to reverse America’s energy independence as well as the recent partial boycotting of Russian oil, has him scrambling.
“This surge [in oil prices] has been a significant driver of the president’s plummeting popularity,” Berman writes. “Administration officials are desperate to find a way to lower prices and reduce what Americans are paying at the pump. Iran could provide part of the solution they are seeking.”
Until now, the “maximum pressure” policy of the previous administration crippled Iran’s global oil trade. If the Persian poker players in Vienna get their way, Iran may soon see all that oil liberated. We’re left with a sorry spectacle of Biden imposing severe sanctions on one evil Russian regime, while offering sanctions relief to an equally evil Persian regime. As Berman concludes, “for the Biden administration struggling in the polls domestically, even a bad bargain with Iran could be a lifeline.”
Regardless of where one sits politically, it’s clear that the “bad bargain” looming in Vienna would be a victory for evil and a defeat for the rest of us.
David Suissa is editor-in-chief and publisher of Tribe Media Corp, and “Jewish Journal.” He can be reached at email@example.com.
This article was first published by the Jewish Journal.