Why would any administration in its right mind permit an official state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, to have nuclear weapons, as well as billions of dollars that will assuredly not be used for a "GI Bill for returning members of the Revolutionary Guard"? (Image source: iStock)
Why would any administration in its right mind permit an official state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, to have nuclear weapons, as well as billions of dollars that will assuredly not be used for a "GI Bill for returning members of the Revolutionary Guard"?
Just this week, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan called Iran, a "sponsor of terrorism."
Calls and warnings against reviving the 2015 nuclear, however, seem to be falling on deaf ears, as the Biden administration appears determined to reach a deal that would enable a state that has been trying to take over the entire Middle East for decades -- and already controls Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq -- to have nuclear weapons, the ballistic missiles to deliver them, and billions of dollars to further its well-documented terrorism.
Last week, 45 retired US Generals and Admirals sent an entreaty, titled "Open Letter from U.S. Military Leaders Opposing Iran Nuclear Deal", to the Biden administration, warning against reviving of the nuclear deal. They wrote:
"In Ukraine, we are bearing witness to the horrors of a country ruthlessly attacking its neighbor and, by brandishing its nuclear weapons, forcing the rest of the world largely to stand on the sidelines.
"The new Iran deal currently being negotiated, which Russia has played a central role in crafting, will enable the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism to cast its own nuclear shadow over the Middle East.
"As retired American military leaders who devoted their lives to the defense of our nation, we oppose this emerging deal that is poised to instantly fuel explosive Iranian aggression and pave Iran's path to become a nuclear power, threatening the American homeland and the very existence of America's regional allies."
While the Biden administration is indefatigably trying to appease the ruling mullahs by lifting sanctions against the Iranian regime, the Islamic Republic has been ratcheting up its threats and attacks against the US bases and its allies, presumably as a nudge.
In addition, the head Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, recently commended "Palestinian martyrs" and threatened Israel as well:
"We are in the middle of the battlefield. The Islamic Republic of Iran is at the forefront of the scene against global arrogance and international Zionism, and we will continue on the path of their honor and greatness, thanks to the martyrs."
Qaani also boasted about the Houthis' access to weapons:
"Today, the heroes of Yemen and the new sons of the revolution are building the major weapons they use inside their country... they build missiles with a range of over 1,000 kilometers and drones with a range of over 1,500 kilometers, and all of these operations are carried out using tools and facilities in tunnels and basements, under enemy bombardment..."
The Biden administration is not only empowering the ruling mullahs of Iran and its militia groups, but grievously alienating US allies in the region. As the retired American US Generals and Admirals accurately stated in their letter:
"America's closest regional partners, attacked regularly by Iran, already strongly oppose the proposed deal. If we will not help protect them against Iran, we cannot expect their help addressing threats like Russia and China. We instead support diplomacy that would genuinely end the threat posed by Iran's military nuclear program and counter Iran's regional aggression, backed up by credibly drawn and enforced redlines against Iranian nuclear and regional escalation."
Worse, the Biden administration's new deal with the Iranian regime is much weaker than Obama's 2015 nuclear deal. With Biden's deal, restrictions on the regime's nuclear program would be lifted only two years after the agreement is signed, permitting the regime to enrich uranium at any level it desires and spin as many uranium enrichment centrifuges as it wants.
The new deal will not force the Iranian regime to reveal its past nuclear activities, which had military dimensions.
Astonishingly, Russia will be trusted to be the country that stores Iran's enriched uranium, and Moscow will get paid for this mission. More uranium for Russia? How nifty: maybe Putin can use it for his next "Ukraine" -- in Poland, Sweden or France?
The new deal will not address Iran's ballistic missile program, meaning that the Tehran regime will continue attacking other nations with its ballistic missiles, provide missiles to its proxy militias in other countries, and advance the range of its intercontinental ballistic missiles to reach the US territories. Iran could even use shorter-range ballistic missiles to reach the US, perhaps launched from Venezuela or Cuba, where Iran is already deeply entrenched.
To meet the Iranian leaders' demands, the new deal will most likely include removal from the terrorist list of the IRGC, which has killed countless Americans, both on American soil and off.
The Islamic Republic of Iran began murdering Americans in Beirut in 1983, and also had a hand in the 9/11 attacks.
Last but not least, economic sanctions will be lifted against the Iranian regime will facilitate the flow of billions of dollars to the ruling mullahs. This will further assist the terrorist regime of Iran to destabilize the region, target and attacks US allies, and continue arming, funding and sponsoring its militia and terror groups across the world.
The Biden administration, if it actually cares about peace in the region -- a subject that seems open to question -- would do well to listen to the warnings of these many US military leaders and Congressmen, and refuse to revive the disastrous nuclear deal. It will only a make even more dangerous a country that the US State Department itself has called "the world's worst sponsor of state terrorism," as well as frankly creating an unnecessary security threat in the region, Europe and the US.
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