The Biden administration's nuclear policy concerning Iran's nuclear program and its ability to acquire nuclear weapons is a complete disaster. Under the Biden administration's leadership, Iran has made significant advances in its nuclear program that surpass the progress achieved under any previous administrations.
In a noteworthy development, for the first time, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has issued a warning, signaling that Iran now holds a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium capable of producing multiple nuclear warheads. This development, reported by Bloomberg on January 18, prompted IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi to denounce Iran's actions. Grossi also told The National newspaper, "Iran is the only non-nuclear weapon state which is enriching uranium at this very, very high level".
The remarks made by Grossi come in the wake of a concerning development in which Iran launched missile attacks into Pakistan. The missile strikes, viewed as a violation of both international norms and Pakistan's sovereignty, have added a new layer of insecurity to the already tense regional dynamics. The attacks on Pakistan also underscore the predatory character of the Iranian regime and its efforts to destabilize the region.
The Iranian regime's lack of cooperation with the IAEA has been alarming for years, suggesting a trajectory toward the imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons, and raises serious reservations about the transparency of Iran's nuclear activities. Grossi expressed concern that Iran is continuing actively to impede international efforts to scrutinize its nuclear program while accelerating its production of highly enriched uranium, bringing it dangerously close to weapons-grade levels.
What motivates the regime's rush to obtaining nuclear weapons? Several factors: first, there is a lack of consequences from the Biden administration. Iran's regime feels free to expedite its nuclear ambitions without facing any repercussions. The regime is undoubtedly also aware that in ten months or so -- on US election day, November 5 -- this opportunity might close.
As Andrea Stricker of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies wrote:
"Iran sprinting for nuclear weapons this year would be the capstone of the Biden-Sullivan foreign policy doctrine of letting our adversaries run the globe and pushing back only when it's too late or the situation becomes untenable."
Congressman Mike Waltz accurately said in an interview with Fox News:
"This administration is so wedded to its appeasement/de-escalation strategy that it's actually inviting escalation... Deterrence has completely fallen apart... and we see every one of our adversaries on the march because of it, and my fear between now and November is they're only going to accelerate because they see this as a moment of opportunity..."
Another contributing factor appears to lie in Iran's involvement in multiple conflicts. The regime has been actively supporting Hamas against Israel, providing assistance to Yemen's Houthi terror group to attack ships in the Red Sea, escalating tensions with Pakistan, and providing weaponry to Russia for use against Ukraine. These multifaceted engagements in regional and global conflicts indicate the regime's likely view of nuclear weapons as a means to further its strategic objectives.
In the midst of these ongoing conflicts, the last thing we need is an aggressive regime, with terrorist inclinations -- and clearly no intention, despite every opportunity the West has given it, of "coming in from the cold" -- possessing nuclear weapons.
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