Thanks to the extremely dubious leadership of the Biden Administration, Iran and China have become more empowered and emboldened than ever. The Chinese Communist Party and the ruling Islamist mullahs of Iran have been conveniently violating US sanctions without facing any consequences from the Biden administration.
Since the Biden administration assumed office, here are a few of the critical developments: First, China rose to be a leading player in the Middle East. Beijing recently brokered an agreement between two of its major oil suppliers: Iran and Saudi Arabia. According to Deutsche Welle:
"China has cultivated strong economic and political ties with both Riyadh and Tehran in recent years. Saudi Arabia is China's largest oil supplier, with trade between the two countries amounting to $87 billion (€81 billion) in 2021. Commerce between Iran and China, meanwhile, was worth more than $16 billion in the same year, with Tehran depending on the Asian giant for as much as 30% of its foreign trade."
It should be noted that in 2019 and 2020, Iran's oil exports decreased to fewer than 200,000 barrel a day, representing a decline of roughly 90%. This shift took place after the Trump administration decided not to extend its waiver for Iran's eight biggest oil buyers: China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea. In 2021, however, immediately after the Biden administration took office, China ramped up its oil imports from Iran, increasing them from 200,000 a day to nearly one million barrels a day. In other words, Iran is exporting approximately five times more oil than at its nadir in 2019 and 2020.
Central Asian countries are also continuing to trade with Iran. The sale of oil accounts for more than 80% of Iran's export revenues, therefore the regime relies heavily on oil exports.
China also signed a 25-year strategic partnership deal with Iran; presently the agreement is in its early stages of implementation. According to it, China will continue to import oil from Iran despite US sanctions. According to the Tehran Times:
"For his part, the Chinese foreign minister approved of his Iranian counterpart's views expounded in his op-ed published in China's Global Times. Wang said the Iranian foreign minister's views show the promising horizon in relations between Tehran and Beijing. The top Chinese diplomat underlined his country's readiness to expand cooperation with Iran in financing, energy, banking and cultural sectors despite... sanctions..."
The deal grants China significant rights over the Iran's resources and help to Iran in increasing its oil and gas production. Leaked information revealed that one of the terms is that China will be investing nearly $400 billion in Iran's oil, gas and petrochemicals industries. In return, China will get priority to bid on any new project in Iran that is linked to these sectors.
China will also be able to pay in any currency it chooses.
The growing partnership between China and Iran is not only going to assist the Iranian regime to skirt US sanctions; it also enables the ruling mullahs to gain access to funds, empower its militia and terror groups in countries around region and continue advancing its race towards nuclear weapons.
During the Biden Administration, the power of both Iran and China will continue to grow. "Biden is a complete joke with regard to foreign policy," U.S. Senator Rick Scott pointed out.
"Biden would rather have ice cream with somebody than stand up for Americans... It's a disaster. I mean, Biden's a clown. Biden's never been a serious person. He's just a talker. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, that's all he's ever done."
Scott also cited former President Barack Obama's reported warning: "Don't underestimate Joe's ability to fuck things up."
The Biden administration's failure to lead is effectively handing the US over to China, Russia and Iran on a platter, actively creating a new world order with China at the top and the US potentially wherever China wants.
Where is our commitment to a "Manhattan Project" to strengthen our defense? Why is the requested defense budget for 2024 only 3.2% higher than the 2023 budget? This means in real terms, factoring in the current inflation of 6%, that the current defense budget is a cut. Worse, it comes in below the budget increases planned for the Environmental Protection Agency (19%), Department of the Interior (12%), and Department of Veterans Affairs (5.4%). In 2022, US defense spending as a percentage of GDP was 3.1%, compared to the 8% of GDP it was in 1970.
Thanks to the monumental serial ineptitude of the Biden Administration (here, here, here, here, here, here and here), China's President Xi Jinping, backed by his troika of oil suppliers -- Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran -- doubtless feels on the verge of fulfilling his fondest dream: Displacing the US as the world's leading superpower. The saddest part is that the reason is us: Why are we deliberately not protecting our Republic?
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