Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

Many Americans as well as allies of the United States were hoping that US President Joe Biden and his administration, on his recent trip to the Middle East, would announce a firmer policy towards the regime of Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran did not murder just one American journalist: it celebrated its birth in 1979 by kidnapping more than 50 Americans from the staff of the US Embassy in Tehran and holding them hostage for 444 days. Then, in 1983, Iran murdered 241 American servicemen in the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut.

To top it off, then in 2018, Iran was ordered by a US federal court to pay billions of dollars in compensation to relatives of victims in the 9/11 attacks that murdered 3,000 people on US soil.

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Iran is still holding six Americans hostage, as well as the remains of another, Robert Levinson. In addition, Iran recently called for the assassination of leading US officials, a story the Biden administration reportedly tried to “keep under wraps,” lest it disturb their efforts to enable Iran to acquire nuclear capability along with more than a trillion dollars to revive what has been called, in a scathing analysis by Richard Goldberg, a former National Security Council official and US Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer, “the new worst deal in history.”

“Iran was cheating on the old deal from the very start and using its benefits to destabilize the Middle East. Which is exactly what they will do again,” Goldberg wrote.

Last week, Biden nevertheless stressed again that he would continue to pursue diplomacy (read: appeasement) and efforts to revive the disastrous nuclear deal with the ruling mullahs in Iran.

“I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome,” Biden stated. Appearing alongside Biden at a joint news conference in Jerusalem, referring to Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid warned:

“Words will not stop them, Mr. President. Diplomacy will not stop them. The only thing that will stop Iran is knowing that if they continue to develop their nuclear program, the free world will use force. The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table… the Iranian regime must know that if they continue to deceive the world, they will pay a heavy price”

Let us examine what has Biden’s diplomacy with the ruling mullahs of Iran done so far. The Iranian regime, for the first time its history, has now enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear bomb — a fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has acknowledged. The Institute for Science and International Security also reported in November 2021:

“Iran has enough enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6) in the form of near 20 and 60 percent enriched uranium to produce enough weapon-grade uranium (WGU), taken here as 25 kilograms (kg), for a single nuclear weapon in as little as three weeks. It could do so without using any of its stock of uranium enriched up to 5 percent as feedstock. The growth of Iran’s stocks of near 20 and 60 percent enriched uranium has dangerously reduced breakout timelines.”

Iran also now has “over 3,000 [ballistic] missiles of various types,” many capable of carrying nuclear warheads, according to Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of the United States Central Command.

Thanks to Biden’s diplomacy-only approach, the ruling mullahs have succeeded at advancing their nuclear program to the highest level ever, conducting uranium metal production, and adding additional advanced centrifuges. The Iranian regime has also switched off UN cameras to monitor its nuclear program and announced that it will not allow the IAEA to see images from the devices.

In addition, the Iranian regime is refusing to answer the IAEA’s questions about uranium particles found at three clandestine and undeclared nuclear sites in Iran. “Iran has not provided explanations that are technically credible in relation to the Agency’s findings at those locations…” the IAEA stated. “The Agency remains ready to engage without delay with Iran to resolve all of these matters.”

While the ruling mullahs of Iran are going nuclear, the Biden administration is busy appeasing them. The Biden administration not only wants this warmed-over nuclear deal, but also appears eager to throw more billions at a regime that used the last billions to solidify its takeover of four countries: Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

The Biden administration also revoked the designation of an Iranian proxy, Yemen’s Houthis, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, in gratitude for which the Houthis began firing missiles into Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. The Biden administration also removed sanctions on three former Iranian officials and several energy companies, and is considering lifting sanctions against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The US administration is also continuing to turn a blind eye away from the Iranian regime’s destructive behavior in the region and beyond — activities that encompass smuggling weapons to the Houthis, shipping oil and weapons to Venezuela, harassing the US Navy, and targeting US bases in Iraq. Iran’s shipment of weapons to Venezuela have included , according to the US Department of Justice, advanced arms such as:

“171 guided anti-tank missiles, eight surface-to-air missiles, land attack cruise missile components, anti-ship cruise missile components, thermal weapon optics and other components for missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles [drones]”.

The ruling mullahs of Iran are freely being allowed to violate US sanctions and UN Security Council Resolutions. Shipments of weapons to the Houthis in Yemen are in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2140, which states:

“Obligation to freeze all funds, other financial assets and economic resources that are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the individuals or entities designated by the Committee, or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them; no funds, financial assets or economic resources to be made available to or for the benefit of such individuals or entities.”

Any revival of a nuclear deal will only enrich what the US State Department has called the “top state sponsor of terrorism“: Iran. Since its founding in 1979, the regime has openly called for “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”. Or are these results what the Biden administration possibly wants?

(Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu)

{Reposted from the Gatestone Institute site}

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