The West is in for yet another shock as the Biden administration seems to be turning to the Iranian regime -- and even approached the Venezuelan regime -- to purchase their oil instead of increasing US domestic oil production. Buying oil from the mullahs of Iran means funding a regime that sponsors global terrorism and that is determined, as an oblation, to wipe out Israel and attack the US. (Image source: iStock)
The West is in for yet another shock as the Biden administration seems to be turning to the Iranian regime -- and approached the illegitimate government of Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela -- to purchase their oil instead of increasing US domestic oil production.
Instead of providing thousands of Americans with high-paying jobs by exporting American oil and gas to Europe and other American allies, the US appears committed to enriching and empowering some of the world's most brutal and implacable dictatorships, starting with Russia and Iran, who appear to have no plans to stop or even mitigate their unneighborly behavior.
During an interview on March 2 about spiking oil prices, MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg if the Biden administration is considering activating the Keystone XL Pipeline or "working something out with Iran". Instead of responding that the US will not buy oil from top state sponsor of terrorism, Buttigieg said:
"Look, the president has said that all options are on the table. But we also need to make sure we're not galloping after permanent solutions to immediate short term problems where more strategic and tactical actions in the short term could make a difference".
The reply resulted in outrage. "Team Biden," Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, "would rather fund the Ayatollah's Death to America regime than allow Americans to produce energy for our own domestic consumption."
"Using North American oil to decouple economic dependency on the resources of hostile nations is a long term solution," said Rep. Ralph Norman, (R-SC)
"Biden announced he's banning Russian oil, that's great," Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) told Fox Business. "But we must increase American energy production to go with it, not looking to Iran or Venezuela. It's ironic that the president's reaching out to the administration in Venezuela, a dictator, to the Iranians, when he could be reaching out to U.S. oil and natural gas producers." He added, "Why doesn't he bring them all [US oil producers] back to Washington and have an emergency summit meeting here in Washington and ask them, 'how do we increase U.S. oil and natural gas production.'"
Buying oil from the mullahs of Iran means funding a regime that sponsors global terrorism and that is determined, as an oblation, to wipe out Israel and attack the US. Just one day after the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of lifting the arms embargo on Iran in October 2020, the ruling mullahs unveiled a ballistic missile that reportedly can reach the United States. The headline of an August 15, 2020 report by Iran's state-controlled Afkar News read, in Farsi, "American Soil Is Now Within the Range of Iranian Bombs." The report boasted about the damage that the Iranian regime could inflict on the US:
"By sending a military satellite into space, Iran now has shown that it can target all American territory; the Iranian parliament had previously warned [the US] that an electromagnetic nuclear attack on the United States would likely kill 90 percent of Americans."
The report also threatened the EU, which voted for lifting an arms embargo against Iran:
"The same type of ballistic missile technology used to launch the satellite could carry nuclear, chemical or even biological weapons to wipe Israel off the map, hit US bases and allies in the region and US facilities, and target NATO even in the far west of Europe."
Did the Biden administration forget that appeasing the Iranian regime will only embolden it? During the eight years of the Obama-Biden administration, five members of the UN Security Council lifted all rounds of crippling sanctions that had taken decades to place on the Islamic Republic of Iran.
"Since 1984," according to Iran expert Michael Rubin, "the U.S. State Department has classified Iran as a leading state sponsor of terrorism. Iran not only funds proxy militias aimed at destabilizing regional states, but also sponsors many terror groups that engage in bombings, assassinations, and hijackings."
President Barack Obama, during his term, revoked four previous executive orders against Iran – thereby removing unilateral US sanctions and freeing up Iran's assets, estimated to be worth up to $150 billion. The US Department of Treasury removed nearly 400 Iranian citizens from a blocked list, freed up their assets and permitted them to do business with the US. The Obama-Biden administration gave the Iranian regime the ability to re-enter the global financial system and to export and import many commodities that were previously banned. The rest of the Western world followed suit: the EU removed all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against Tehran and began doing business with the theocratic establishment.
What the international community soon saw, however, was a greater frequency of Houthi rockets launched from Yemen at civilian targets; the deployment of Hezbollah foot-soldiers in Syria, and increasing attacks by the Iranian-funded Hamas against Israel. With billions of dollars in revenue pouring into the pockets of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Tehran did not change its behavior for the better. Instead, it became more empowered and emboldened to pursue its revolutionary ideals of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism. The US government-funded Voice of America openly called Iran "the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism."
During the Obama administration, at the peak of its appeasement policies towards the mullahs, Iran was emboldened to publicly harass the US Navy, detain US sailors and imprison American citizens. Khamenei repeatedly threatened "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" and made incendiary remarks about wiping Israel from the face of earth "in less than eight minutes."
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, loyal allies of the US, have -- after being attacked and threatened by Iran for years and now finding themselves abandoned by the United States -- have begun turning toward China.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, reportedly views Russia, China and Iran variously as "partners," "competitors," or "deal-makers." Russia, China and Iran are not "partners". They are not "competitors." They are aggressors. You bet they would like to "help" the United States with "climate change" and "going green": it would give them a vast new market for their oil and gas and as well as increased leverage over the West. European and the US reports already allege that Russian "dark money" (anonymous funding) has been going to Western non-governmental environmental groups to advance that agenda.
An America dependent for its oil and gas on anti-democratic dictatorships would be a windfall, economically and politically, beyond their dreams. Imagine an America reliant on the warmhearted goodwill of Russia and China.
Now, in the new "Iran deal," it seems that not only has Russia been serving as the negotiator for the United States, and that the US has agreed to waive $10 billion in sanctions it just finished placing on Russia for having invaded Ukraine so that Russia will be able to build a nuclear plant in Iran, but also, according to Rep. Michael Waltz*, that all enriched uranium from Iran will now be sent to Russia. To top it off, according to Waltz, the new arbiter of whether or not Iran is in compliance with the deal, will be – Russia. What could possibly go wrong?
*"Mornings with Maria," Fox Business Channel, March 18, 2022
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, 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