Biden is about to make the worst deal ever with Iran

As the The civilian death toll in Ukraine is rising and the world braces for untold crimes against humanity to come, the Biden administration said Friday that it is about to announce a Russia-brokered deal with Iran this will inundate the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars and leave Tehran on the cusp of nuclear weapons.

While Iran nuclear deal 2015 was bad enough, the upcoming deal is even worse.

Much has changed in the years since the Obama administration joined the old Iran deal – an agreement that allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium, develop nuclear-capable missiles and engage in terrorism in exchange for billions of dollars in US dollars – to sponsor sanctions relief. An agreement that was supposed to keep Iran’s nuclear program in check and lead a radical regime to moderation is also failing.

The Obama White House claimed the Iran deal guaranteed the most intrusive inspections the world has ever seen, but only Israel’s Mossad found the evidence Iran is cheating — a secret nuclear weapons archive the mullahs used before, during and after the Hidden negotiations on the Iran deal. This archive was kept by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, who UN Nuclear Guardian, to at least four previously unknown locations in Iran. The inspectors found traces of uranium on three of them.

President Joe Biden waves to the media on the South Lawn of the White House.
The US has reportedly moved closer to restoring the nuclear deal with Iran in the coming days.

The full extent of Iran’s fraud remains unknown. Inspections have not become more intrusive; Iranian military sites remain taboo.

For years, Russia has been a leading opponent of the IAEA investigation into Iran. With Moscow regularly violating its own international treaty obligations — whether it’s the use of chemical weapons or the war crimes we see happening in Ukraine today — Russian diplomats are working overtime to shield rogue states like Iran and Syria from accountability.

The new deal sides with Moscow – in defiance of the NPT, lift sanctions and legitimizing Iran’s nuclear program without first requiring a full account of past and current violations. Put simply, it is an agreement knowingly built on deception that will encourage other authoritarian regimes to violate their international obligations.

Palais Coburg, where the nuclear talks are taking place behind closed doors.
Palais Coburg, where the nuclear talks are taking place behind closed doors.
Michael Gruber/AP

Another major change since 2015: we know so much more about how key Iranian banks and corporations fund terrorism. The Obama administration told Congress nothing in the Iran deal prevents America from imposing terrorism sanctions on Iran. Congress took that pledge to heart on a bipartisan basis and directed the Trump administration to impose sanctions on members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Today, the Central Bank of Iran, the National Iranian Oil Company and hundreds of other entities are subject to US terrorism sanctions – not nuclear sanctions – on the basis of indisputable evidence demonstrating their complicity in the financing of terrorism. The lifting of sanctions against these banks and corporations with no sign of a change in behavior will be unprecedented. The deal will directly subsidize the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations — a win for another Russian client state, Syria.

In January, 1,200 Gold Star family members wrote to President Biden, urging him not to release funds to Iran until the Islamic Republic first paid the $60 billion in judgments owed to American victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism. To date, the White House has not responded to her request. The deal could go even further and remove the IRGC from the State Department’s official list of foreign terrorist organizations — not only making America less secure, but also weakening the legal cases pursued by these and other victims of terrorism.

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen next to an Iranian flag.
A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen next to an Iranian flag.
Raheb Homavandi

What must Iran do to get $100 billion in sanctions relief, freedom from terrorism sanctions and a blind eye to its nuclear secrets? Not much. Iran will be able to threaten the world at a time of its choosing as it can continue to enrich uranium and develop long-range nuclear missiles to threaten the American homeland. And the old deal’s infamous sunset provisions remain in place – they ensure the short-term expiry (or “sunset”) of all major restrictions. This will result in a nuclear crisis as early as 2025, even if Iran complies with the terms of the new deal.

The release of American and other Western hostages as part of the deal is celebrated. That is, until Iran takes another hostage, and then another, knowing that the Biden administration will likely pay huge sums for their release.

The Biden White House will say it’s all Donald Trump’s fault. The Iran deal worked. Maximum pressure failed. It’s this deal or war.

None of this is true.

Iran betrayed the old deal from the start and used its advantages to destabilize the Middle East. They will do just that again thanks to the new worst deal in history brokered by Russia at the request of the Biden administration. It ensures that the United States faces an increasingly imminent choice between military action against Iran or adopting an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Richard Goldberg, a senior advisor to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has served as a National Security Council official, deputy chief of staff to former US Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and intelligence officer for the US Navy Reserve. He was sanctioned by Iran in 2020. Biden is about to make the worst deal ever with Iran


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