There seems to be nothing that the Biden administration will not do to appease the ruling mullahs of Iran and their regime, called only a few years ago by the US Department of State the "top state sponsor of terrorism." Since the Biden administration assumed office, the more it has been appeasing the Iranian regime financially and politically, the more the mullahs, instead of taking reciprocal steps, have become empowered and emboldened. Iran is now holding uranium enrichment at 60% purity, around 10 days away from raising it to the nuclear threshold level of 90%.
In short, the US, instead of stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, is bribing the mullahs not to go to 90% enrichment, at least on the Biden administration's watch, especially ahead of the November 2024 US presidential election.
Meanwhile, Iran laughably keeps claiming that it is not even seeking a nuclear bomb.
Here are some of the major and dangerous appeasements that the Biden administration has so far offered to this anti-American regime. The first concession came a few days after the administration assumed office, toward Iran's proxy militia group in Yemen, the Houthis.
Even as the evidence — including a 2020 United Nations report – had shown that Iran was delivering sophisticated weapons to the Houthis in Yemen, the Biden administration suspended some of the anti-terrorism sanctions on the Houthis that the Trump administration had set in place.
On February 12, 2021, the Biden administration revoked the designation of Yemen's Houthis as a terrorist group.
A few months after that, in June 2021, the Biden administration lifted sanctions on three former Iranian officials and several energy companies.
Then, in a blow to the Iranian people and all advocates of democracy and human rights — days after the Iranian regime hand-picked a reported mass murderer, Ebrahim Raisi, to be its next president — the Biden administration announced that it was also considering lifting sanctions against Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
After that, the Biden administration looked the other way during the Islamic Republic's malign actions in the region, such as smuggling weapons, and shipping oil to Syria and Hezbollah in direct violation of US sanctions, at the same time that Iran was busy increasing its influence in America's backyard.
In addition, in June, Raisi made a special trip to Venezuela to establish "strategic ties" and remind the world that Iran and Venezuela have "common enemies." Moreover, the Iranian regime's terror cells have been growing in Latin America as Iran's terror proxy Hezbollah and Al Mustafa International University have both played a key role in expanding the mullahs' presence and ideology in the region. The regime has also been expanding the number Iranian-trained imams and militants in Latin America, and increasing recruitment of radicals.
The Biden administration also looked away when the Iranian regime killed more than 300 people, including 40 children, in the recent protests.
Seemingly to further appease the ruling clerics of Iran, the Biden administration began issuing waivers, making the sanctions an ineffective joke. Last year, the Biden administration restored a waiver that had been rescinded by the Trump Administration. The new waiver permitted companies from Europe, Russia and China to advance their work on Iran's nuclear sites. This was most likely done in the hope of reviving the "nuclear deal" to enable Iran to have as many nuclear weapons as it likes, a move Iran is apparently doing anyway. The restored waiver also further facilitates the flow of funds to the Iranian regime, lifts sanctions, and enhances global legitimacy of the expansionist, despotic regime.
The Biden administration further attempted, on March 16, to deny that it had issued a waiver to Iraq, to pay $500 million to Iran. According to a report by the Free Beacon, the waiver was issued "a day after Biden administration officials denied Iran's claims that the United States had paved the way for Tehran to receive the $500 million." The regime will most likely use the funds to further arm Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, to brutalize its own citizens, to undermine US national security interests, to fund its terrorist and militia groups across the Middle East and to expand even more deeply into Latin America.
On June 10, 2023 the Biden Administration also gave yet another sanction waiver to Iran's satrapy, Iraq, to make a payment of $2.76 billion to the Iranian regime.
Thanks to the Biden administration, Iran's oil exports have also started booming and have now surged more than two million barrels a day, the most since 2018 , and they are selling it at levels close to the pre-sanctions era, to countries such as China, which desperately needs it – while the Biden administration suspended new oil and gas leases on US public lands and waters.
Iran has furthermore been shipping vast amounts of oil to Venezuela without either country fearing repercussions from the Biden administration.
As if these appeasements were not enough, the Biden Administration recently reached a deal with the Iranian regime behind closed doors on August 10, in which the United States agreed to pay $6 billion dollars and release a handful of Iranian nationals who are serving prison sentences in the US, in exchange for the release of five Iranian-Americans imprisoned in Iran -- more than a billion dollars per person -- with still more payments apparently on the way.
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