Irrational, Dangerous Iran Policy is No Accident

Joe Biden’s people say that his move to return to Barack Obama’s JCPOA, the nuclear agreement with Iran, is the only reasonable path. After all, they argue that Donald Trump’s policy of “maximum pressure” failed, as evidenced by Iran’s signing a 25-year agreement to cooperate economically and strategically with China. They also note that Iran responded by ramping up their violations of the agreement.

Although Biden initially talked tough, saying that the US would not weaken sanctions until Iran returned to compliance with the original agreement by ending enrichment of uranium to 20%, reducing its stockpile of enriched material, and other items, American resolve seems to be slipping in the face of Iranian stubbornness. The person he put in charge of the negotiations, Robert Malley, has said that he prefers to return more or less to the original deal first, and then try to negotiate a new, better one later. On the face of it, this is silly. If the US gives up leverage by removing sanctions, why would the Iranians want to renegotiate later, just to obtain a deal that is worse for them?

The original deal was simply a disaster. It removed the restrictions placed on Iran by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that it had signed and ending international sanctions enforcing several Security Council resolutions intended to deter it from its nuclear ambitions. It granted Iran an unprecedented “right to enrich” uranium that the NPT denied, with limits that would be removed in a decade. That decade ends soon, in 2025, after which there will be no limits on Iran’s nuclear program.

Even those temporary limits were technically inadequate, as was the inspection routine, which had holes big enough to drive numerous large trucks through. As a side benefit to Iran, Security Council resolutions that forbade Iran from developing ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear weapons were replaced with one that only “called upon” Iran to eschew such technology (Iran has since developed such missiles). It is not an exaggeration to say, as PM Netanyahu did in 2019, that the deal “paved Iran’s path” to nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them rather than blocking it.

The icing on the cake was the infusion of cash the JCPOA provided, which Iran promptly used to pay for its intervention in the Syrian civil war, the arming of Shiite militias in Iraq, support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen and their attacks on Saudi Arabia, and of course the continued buildup of Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ missile arsenals – which the Iranian regime intends as the main weapon in its campaign to wipe Israel off the map (its nuclear-tipped missiles will provide a deterrent umbrella against Israeli retaliation).

Trump reversed Obama’s policy, exited the deal, and re-imposed sanctions to pressure Iran economically. Either the regime would collapse, or Iran would be forced to accept real restrictions on its nuclear and missile programs. The sanctions crushed the Iranian economy, and combined with the Covid epidemic and the domestic Iranian opposition, pushed the regime onto the ropes. The regime clearly understood this, and even tried to influence the 2020 American election against Trump.

The contention that Trump’s program didn’t work is false – the regime simply was able to hold out until he left office. Something that the NY Times et al don’t mention is that the agreement with China, the enrichment to 20%, and the introduction of new-generation centrifuges prohibited by the JCPOA didn’t occur until 2021, when Trump was either already gone or about to be. The Chinese undoubtedly knew that Trump would retaliate economically if they made their agreement with Iran during his term. And the Iranian regime clearly feared the US president, who had eliminated Qasem Soleimani, the single most dangerous terrorist operative in decades.

Biden’s policy – or that of whoever is making decisions for him – will empower the Iranian regime in reaching its objectives. And those objectives are quite ambitious: the establishment of a Shiite caliphate in the region, the replacement of various regimes (e.g., in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain), the destruction of the Jewish state, the control of all Middle Eastern fossil fuel resources, and so on. Iranian expansionism has already turned Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen into failed states whose populations are suffering enormously as a result.

If Iran continues with its nuclear program past Israel’s redlines, or if it orders its proxies to attack Israel, the result will be regional war. Such a war would be disastrous, especially for Lebanon, whose southern part has been turned by Iran’s Hezbollah proxy into one big launching pad for an estimated 130,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel. Israel’s defensive capabilities, although the most advanced in the world, could not deal with the number of weapons that would be fired at it, and so it would be necessary to respond by bombing southern Lebanon. That would cause thousands of casualties in a country already suffering from disease and total economic collapse.

The regime in Iran has made it clear that America, “the Great Satan,” is its most important enemy. It and its proxies have killed Americans in Lebanon and of course Iraq. It will work together with other enemies of the USA to harm it in any way it can. It even played a role in the 9/11 attacks. It isn’t unthinkable that it will provide nuclear material to terrorists in order to attack her in a “plausibly deniable” way.

Is enabling this regime’s regional takeover and nuclear project in America’s national interest? I don’t think so. The best way to forestall its plans is for the US to return to the policy of maximum pressure: to squeeze it economically until either it has no option but to retreat from its aggression, or it falls and is replaced by the more moderate government that most of the Iranian people would prefer.

Having said that, I am certain that this will not occur. What is going on is more than just a repudiation of Trump. Whoever is behind the project of strengthening the Iranian regime and enabling it to obtain its objectives knows what they are doing, and must share those objectives. The ideology of appointed officials is too consistent, the historical precedents too clear, and the functioning of the PR echo chamber too slick for it to be anything but deliberate.

Israel can only defend herself. It’s up to Americans to do whatever is necessary to move their country off this dangerous path.

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6 Responses to Irrational, Dangerous Iran Policy is No Accident

  1. nudnikJR says:

    Many people dance around the issue of who is pulling the strings in this so-called administration.
    There is only one person. The rest are just bit players and yes-men and women. This person is somebody who was influenced by his anti Western father, then lived in Moslem countries as a youth and later came under the influence of the anarchist Alinsky and the white people hater Wright, not to mention Farrakhan.
    This is a person who cannot abide the principles on which the US has been based and will do everything in his power to change them.

  2. Pinchas Baram says:

    Hear, hear! Nudnik, you’re not a nudnik, be assured.

    but here’s a side question that just popped into my head regarding Barack Hussein Obama back in the day : why did Obama bow and kiss the hand of the king of Saudi Arabia (Sunnite) and soon after make all his stupid deals/concessions with the mad mullahs of Iran (Shiite)?

    • The Muslim world has never had a problem making temporary alliances against what is seen as a common enemy. Consider the fact that Iran sends aid to Hamas.
      Anyway, I don’t think Obama is a practicing Muslim. He does have a great deal of respect for Islam as a result of his upbringing.
      I think also that he opposes MBS and MBZ and the direction in which they have taken the Sunni nations.
      Obama has a leftist/third-world orientation which sees the US and Israel as colonialist exploiters, and wishes to radically change the former and see the latter disappear. He believes (viz. his recent book) the Palestinian historical narrative, in which Israel’s presence as a Jewish state on “Palestinian land” is an abomination.
      If anyone can find “smoking gun” level evidence that he is calling the shots in the Biden Administration, I would be interested in hearing it.

  3. nudnikJR says:

    You pose an interesting question, getting into the realm of psychoanalysis, which is as much speculation as science.
    He did spend part of his youth in a Sunni country which gets a lot of help from the Saudis, who are also the guardians of the holiest centers of Islam. Therefore, a great amount of respect is shown to the Saudi king. On the other hand, he is aware that the Sunnis have mounted several wars to overcome Israel and have been defeated every time, resulting in little appetite to continue that course. However, the Khomeinists show no such reluctance and are actively trying to destroy Israel. Given his antipathy to Israel he is willing to give the mullahs every opportunity to achieve their goal.
    Nevertheless, in my opinion, Israel is just a sideshow for him, although he would not mourn its demise. His main aim is to destroy the principles of the US, replacing it with cultural Marxism and he has an army of trolls, delusionists, naifs and plain unthinkers to help him.

  4. nudnikJR says:

    Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that anything close to a “smoking gun” will be found.
    This person is far too smart for such amateurishness. He will aim to achieve his goals using proxies (and there are plenty of them – media, Big Tech, universities, etc,) to destroy the US as we have known it, and he has created the perfect “administration” (LOL) to do it.

  5. Shalom Freedman says:

    All the signs are Biden is going to appease the Iranians and accept their false promises. The signs are above all the people in charge of the negotiations, Malley, Sullivan, Sherman, above all.
    It is encouraging that Israel has the ability to delay their nuclear weapons program.
    The Chinese option was there for the Iranians with Trump and I am not sure the sanctions would have broken them.
    I know Israel has been preparing for an all-out confrontation but it seems the price for us would be very great.
    I do not know how we should act and operate now. I dread the all-out war and hope we will not need it to somehow stop Iran. But this could just be wishful thinking.

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