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Biden Set To Give Up Even More Leverage In Disastrous Iran Deal 2.0

The Biden administration is on the verge of signing a deal far worse than the one Obama did almost seven years ago.

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With the world’s attention understandably distracted by the Ukrainian conflict, it is easy to forget that the Biden administration is currently renegotiating the Iran Deal that former U.S. President Barack Obama made in 2015, and which President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, pulled out of in 2018.

Even though a Russian envoy told Reuters over the weekend that “we will have a deal maybe in the middle of next week,” the Vienna discussions to renegotiate the terms of the 2015 agreement, which have been taking place since April 2021, were thrown into jeopardy last Sunday.

Russia has been accused of trying to take the deal hostage as part of its conflict with the West over Ukraine. They fear that their economic trade with Iran will be affected by U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

The Guardian reports that America will almost certainly reject the demand that Russian-Iranian trade be exempt from sanctions since it would open a massive loophole in the sanctions regime. It would then be up to Russia whether to veto the deal altogether. This could be a blessing in disguise because the pact the Biden administration is negotiating with Iran represents a huge capitulation.

The intentions behind the original 2015 Iran Deal sound good on paper. When the Obama administration negotiated it that year, the pact’s purpose was to limit the country’s nuclear program to make it harder for Iran to obtain fissile material for a nuclear bomb in return for relief from economic sanctions. Managing Partner of Atieh International Bijan Khajehpur stated the deal would trigger economic growth, as 20 percent of Iran’s problems were related to sanctions prior to 2015.

During the Trump administration, the Iranian government deployed new technology to enrich its uranium supplies in 2019, a clear breach of the Iran Deal. Thanks to Israeli exposure of the Iranian nuclear archive in 2018, it became clear that Iranian Supreme Leader Hassan Rouhani was always serious about his nation eventually acquiring nuclear weapons. Therefore, Trump was right to have concerns about the Iran Deal and that is why he scrapped it in 2018.

That is because the 2015 agreement failed to curb the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s ongoing support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah, which made permanent peace between the United States and Iran unlikely due to Lebanon’s attacks on Israel. Plus, the Iran Deal only delayed the country’s nuclear program.

Despite this, the Trump administration should have implemented French President Emmanuel Macron’s four-point plan that would see a lifting of all U.S. sanctions in exchange for an end to Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East and its nuclear ambitions. This means that Trump’s failure to replace Obama’s agreement with something better led to the backdrop of today’s indirect discussions between America and Iran.

Now the Biden administration is on the verge of signing a deal far worse than the one Obama did almost seven years ago. Under the terms of the U.S. President’s revised pact, the Revolutionary Guard will be removed from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. This gives them a free pass to continue with their destabilizing activities in the Middle East. Not even the Obama administration would have been happy with such a provision.

Furthermore, Iran’s current President, Ebrahim Raisi, will have his human rights-related sanctions removed. The reason why Raisi was sanctioned by Trump in 2019 was because he was responsible for the 1988 extra-judicial murders of some 5,000 people. In addition, he initiated the violent 2009 crackdown on the Green Revolution, which was triggered by a staged presidential election. Such a decision only legitimizes Raisi’s international presence and shows that the Biden administration did not issue enough red lines during the Vienna negotiations.

The Biden administration has not only capitulated to Iran, but to Russia as well. Removing Yemeni Iranian Houthis from the FTO list last March was a major concession to drag Iran back to the negotiating table but at the expense of allowing the Houthis to continue to implement terrible atrocities in Yemen.

The removal of the Nord Stream 2 sanctions was a concession to persuade the Russians to remain involved in the Vienna negotiations. Yet they were reimposed following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. As a result, the Biden administration’s goodwill toward Moscow backfired badly.

Russia and China are the only two countries that would benefit from these negotiations – China because they will continue to trade with Iran, and Russia because they will have a client state in the Middle East. Biden has appeased these three nations at the expense of increasing the terrorist threat to the U.S., and by emboldening Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Middle Eastern ambitions.

The United States cannot afford to appease totalitarian dictatorships. As Trump’s former national security advisor for the Middle East, Victoria Coates, said, they need to apply more leverage over the Iranian hovernment. At the same time, they need to return to the principles of Macron’s four-point plan to end Iran’s nuclear program completely. Sadly, the Biden administration has shown no willingness to adopt Macron’s vision, and the United States will lose as a result.