The Biden administration and the EU do not need to go too far back to see the outcome of those appeasement policies and the nuclear deal with Iran. Its theocratic regime became more determined than ever, as an oblation, an offering to God, to annihilate Israel. Right after the nuclear deal, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (pictured at right), who enjoys the final say in Iran's domestic and foreign policy, published a 416-page book, titled "Palestine," with a cover featuring a map of the Middle East with no Israel in it. (Image source: Khamenei.ir via Wikimedia Commons)
"Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it," Winston Churchill said. This is exactly what is happening as the Biden administration and the European Union continue relentlessly to appease the ruling mullahs of Iran and attempting to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
The Biden administration and the European Union appear to believe that rewarding the Iranian regime will make it act as a constructive and modern nation-state. This idea first surfaced and was acted upon during the administration of then US President Barack Obama, who, on concluding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, pointed out that he was "confident" it would "meet the national security needs of the United States and our allies".
As a result, members of the UN Security Council lifted rounds of crippling sanctions that it had taken decades to impose on the Islamic Republic. Obama revoked four previous executive orders against Iran — and removed unilateral US sanctions, freeing up Iran's assets estimated to be worth between $50 billion 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 also gave Iran the ability to re-enter the global financial system and export and import vast commodities that previously had been banned. The rest of the Western world followed as well. The EU removed all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against Iran, enabling Europeans to do increased business with it.
The Biden administration and the EU do not need to go too far back to see the outcome of those appeasement policies and the nuclear deal with Iran. Its theocratic regime became more determined than ever, as an oblation, an offering to God, to annihilate Israel. Right after the nuclear deal, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who enjoys the final say in Iran's domestic and foreign policy, published a 416-page book, titled "Palestine," with a cover featuring a map of the Middle East with no Israel in it.
Khamenei details in the book his plan of destroying Israel and characterizes himself as "the flag bearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem."
Hossein Salami, commander in chief of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), followed up, stating:
"Today, the grounds for the annihilation and collapse of the Zionist regime are [present] more than ever.... Hezbollah has 100,000 missiles that are ready to hit Israel to liberate the occupied Palestinian territories".
The more the Islamic Republic became empowered due to the appeasement it received, the more it boasted that it could destroy Israel "in less than eight minutes."
Thanks to the nuclear deal and its appeasement policies, the Iranian regime gained legitimacy, directed the billions of dollars to Iran's military and the IRGC, as well as to Iran's militias and terror groups. Iran, through its proxies, deepened its foothold in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela, and strengthened its hold on Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Tehran also detained and imprisoned more Americans.
The nations of the European Union, which also normalized relationships with the Iranian regime, faced severe repercussions. When it comes to terrorism, member states of the EU have been among the main targets of Iran's terrorist plots. The Iranian regime was implicated in a series of assassinations, the seizing of hostages and other hostile acts across Europe, some successful, others not, but all traced back to Tehran. European officials were also able to foil a terrorist attack targeting a large "Free Iran" convention in Paris in June 2018, and attended by high-level speakers, including former US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. Two years later, in Belgium, one of Iran's active diplomats, the Iranian Assadollah Assadi, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for trying to plant a bomb in Paris in 2018.
The Biden administration and the EU must not repeat the Obama administration's historical mistake. Appeasing and befriending the predatory rogue regime of Iran will not make the EU or the US immune from the Iranian regime's malign, destructive policies. It will only embolden the ruling extremist mullahs more forcefully to pursue their anti-American, anti-semitic, anti-Western policies, and to continue suppressing their own population with an iron fist.
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