I’ll begin this column by inviting anyone to explain why America should drop sanctions against terrorist Iran in exchange for delaying permission for them to develop nuclear weapon capabilities that can be deployed by their current largest Mideast missile force until 2025, a year after our next presidential elections.
On top of that, Tehran mullahs haven’t apparently even cared much about our approval thus far. They have reportedly already advanced their uranium enrichment to 60% — close to a 90% threshold required for weapons grade material — while outside inspectors weren’t allowed to check on them.
Rafael Mariano Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has reported that uiranium particles found at three sites that Iran hasn’t declared to the agency offer "a clear indication that nuclear material and/or equipment contaminated by nuclear material has been present at these locations."
Nevertheless, despite any discernable benefits to either America or our European allies, the Biden administration has made it pathetically urgent that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more broadly known as the "Iran nuclear deal" which President Donald Trump prudently terminated for lack of compliance, be reinstated as a featured foreign policy goal.
Iran's mullahs fully recognize that Biden wants bragging rights to a deal — any deal — subject to all terms dictated by them. With humiliating unconcealed contempt for U.S. weakness, they have refused to authorize direct discussions with White House representatives — Obama administration holdovers and pushovers.
This snub has forced European diplomats (Britain, Germany, and France), to shuttle back and forth in surrogate "go-between" hotel meetings in Vienna where Biden team negotiators are ensconced separately.
On November 29, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made his country’s demands clear: "The U.S. has no other way for its return to the JCPOA but to remove all the sanctions imposed on the Iranian nation since it walked out of the JCPOA."
The representative added that any U.S. return to the deal would depend on “Guarantees that Iran’s economic partners would be able to deal with Iran without worries and with confidence.”
Like China, for example … not that they really worry that much anyway. Beijing has been openly buying Iranian oil in defiance of U.S. sanctions, and the Biden administration doesn’t seem to care.
Meanwhile, Tehran is escalating support for terror attacks in the region, reportedly including an October drone attack on a U.S. base in Syria and a November Iran-backed militia attempt to kill Iraq’s prime minister.
It is beyond foolhardy to imagine that Iran will wind back their nuclear ambitions and regional exploits in exchange for already unenforced inspection requirements and temporary U.S. sanction relief that very well may again be terminated by the next American president.
In any case, there is no way to return to the 2015 JCPOA status quo because Iran has already enriched its uranium far too much since then.
Other countries recognize real dangers to themselves presented by such fantasies.
Bitter rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran have recently become engaged in backchannel meetings despite continuing tensions. The Saudi kingdom is particularly wary that Biden’s push to revive JCPOA sanctions relief will release a surge of cash and weapons for dangerous Iranian military surrogates.
Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters attacked their Tehran embassy in retaliation for the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.
For Tehran, the new talks are a way to ease a near-united front among Gulf Arab powers over its regional ambitions, and for the Saudis, they offer a way to hedge bets regarding U.S. commitments to the region versus support to Iranian ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Last February, the Biden administration removed Iran-backed Yemen Houthi rebels from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list — a move widely seen as an appeasement attempt to entice Iran to reengage in JCPOA talks. Riyadh, amid Houthi attacks targeting the kingdom’s military installations and critical oil infrastructure over the past six years, was outraged by that action.
Riyadh is also reportedly pursuing talks with representatives of Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah movement, another State Department-listed terrorist organization with strong ties to Tehran.
Abdulaziz Sager, who heads the Gulf Research Center, and former senior Iranian diplomat Hossein Mousavian have argued that both Iran and Saudi Arabia perceive the other to be keen on dominating the region. Their article earlier this year in The Guardian, a British newspaper, said: “Riyadh views Iran as intent on encircling the kingdom with its allied non-state actors: Tehran views Riyadh as a key facilitator of U.S. efforts to contain and undermine the Islamic Republic.”
Israel, who fiercely opposed the original 2015 nuclear deal, fears that the U.S. will once again settle for a "less for more" nuclear agreement.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently warned that Israel was prepared to break with the U.S. and other allies to take defensive action against Iran, if needed.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration's desperation in pursuit of a faux showcase JCPOA breakthrough will predictably embolden China and Russia to exploit weak U.S. leadership evidenced most dramatically by the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle that abandoned hundreds of Americans and more than $80 billion of advanced military equipment to Taliban control.
JCPOA is little more than a dangerous distraction against a backdrop of Russian troops and artillery now positioned for a potential large-scale push into Ukraine from Crimea, and China continues to menacingly fly nuclear-capable bombers over our ally, Taiwan.
Although China and Russia don’t like or trust each other very much, they have nevertheless signed a military cooperation pact that should greatly concern the entire free world.
Both realize that a marginalized America is very much to their mutual advantage.
The Biden administration’s Iran nuclear deal obsession is just the ticket to keep America’s foreign policy distracted, off balance, and overcommitted to hasten that tragically self-inflicted decline they seek.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 10 books, "What Makes Humans Truly Exceptional," (2021) is available on Amazon along with all others. Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.