Tehran Enriched and Emboldened--Now What?

Johnnie Moore
Johnnie Moore
Abraham Cooper
Abraham Cooper
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Understandably, all eyes are riveted on Russia and Ukraine as the unthinkable looms—a 21st Century war—complete with an accompanying cyberwar and untold human suffering, impacting millions.

We applaud the steps—even belated—by the US and NATO designed to thwart an invasion by Putin’s military.

At the same time, we watch in utter shock and horror as the United States and its key NATO allies cave to the Iranian regime — reportedly, preparing to release another $7 billion in sanctions relief while Tehran keeps its centrifuges, maintains its ballistic missile program, and without any obligation to reject its policies of crushing human rights at home. Meanwhile it will continue to arm, train and command their terrorist proxies like Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Hamas. The regime will maintain its threat of a genocide against the Jewish state, while denying the Nazi Holocaust.

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Startlingly, all parties agree that within a few short months (or less) the Ayatollah and his Revolutionary Guard can unleash its threats of nuclear blackmail, again. All of this as Iranian negotiators demand that Revolutionary Guard, the uber terrorist arm of the Ayatollah, be removed from the United States’ terrorism list. The regime only makes such absurd demands because they know they find a sympathetic ear in Robert Malley, Biden’s point man on Iran.

We would hold out some hope that the United States will not cave in light of senior Democratic Senator Bob Menendez’s declaration that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Indeed, almost all other Senate Democrats and Republicans agree with Menendez. But Malley, in defiance of it all, obstinately follows the same game plan he forged as chief negotiator for the first fatally flawed deal on behalf of then President Obama. The truth is that Malley isn’t capable of crafting an agreement that would pass scrutiny, address the actual questions, or survive a simple up or down vote on an Iranian nuclear deal.

Instead, the President’s special envoy is reportedly on the verge of closing a twenty page agreement that starts “a phased approach” to re-entering the 2015 Iran Deal whose critical terms were largely set to expire by 2023, anyhow.

We all have a pretty good idea what the Iranians get out of the deal, but it is less clear if President Biden and his Democratic Party will reap any peace dividends whatsoever from the deal. A more likely scenario is that this deal could be a prelude to another unthinkable war, this time in the volatile Middle East.

The consequences are predictable and loathsome.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signs documents, including a decree recognising two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities, during a ceremony in Moscow, Russia, in this picture released on February 21, 2022. (File photo: Reuters)
Russian President Vladimir Putin signs documents, including a decree recognising two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities, during a ceremony in Moscow, Russia, in this picture released on February 21, 2022. (File photo: Reuters)

Iran’s moribund economy will come to life again but not in the way Malley promises. Those who need the help the most will be left out. The country’s mafia-like Revolutionary Guards will ensure that the influx of cash will not go to Iran’s long-suffering minorities. There still won’t be water for the farmers fighting droughts. The country’s Arabs—whose regions sit on Iran’s oil—will continue to face systematic discrimination. Instead of investing in healthcare, infrastructure, education, and culture, the $7 billion+ will be immediately rerouted to the exportation of Iran’s Islamist Revolution from Yemen to Venezuela, from Lebanon to London.

Watch as terrorist activity will expand and increase dramatically. Iranian drones and rockets will be supplied to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis in Yemen, and even to Maduro in Venezuela. Ayatollah Khamenei will order Iranians surrogates in countries from Nigeria to Bahrain to Indonesia to destabilize their societies. Ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz will be attacked, sabotaged, and confiscated. All of this as the Revolutionary Guard’s involvement in global drug trafficking continues.

Americans won’t be spared either. Even if Malley’s deal involves the release of Americans long held hostage by the Iranian regime you can be assured that the regime will take its first opportunity to kidnap more Americans. All one needs to do is remember the plight of Xiyue Wang, the Stanford PhD student, who was taken hostage by the Iranian regime in Tehran just weeks after the Obama administration completed the first Iran Deal.

If there is a deal, it puts Iran’s nuclear weapons program, above and below ground, on the fast track —this time with the blessing of world powers.

Most Americans voted for a President Joe Biden who promised a vision at home and abroad guided by bipartisanship. That has not been reflected either in substance nor style with regard to the Iran Deal 2.0. Almost nothing in America unites more Americans than support of Israel and opposition to this deal.

Instead, Americans were and are counting on a muscular effort led by the United States to expand the historic Abraham Accords—not supplying its sworn enemy with the wherewithal to destroy it.

And Americans expected firm support of the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when they were subject to deadly attacks from Iranian proxies. All the UAE got was sympathetic statements from a Washington too concerned with keeping the talks in Vienna going than drawing lines in the sand against aggression from Iran and her proxies.

Instead, the Biden administration should have instantaneously re-imposed devastating sanctions, and immediately re-designated Iran’s Houthi proxy in Yemen as terrorists (a status that the administration should never have revoked in the first place).

It isn’t too late for President Biden to strengthen his foreign policy and reassure our allies and friends in the region.

Without it, we will see a replay of the draconian dramas already played out in Afghanistan and Ukraine and feared for Taiwan.

In the meantime, expect Gulf states including those not yet under the umbrella of the Abraham Accords to strengthen their cooperation with Israel and Egypt. They will have to draw their own red lines against Iran.

They can defend themselves, and unlike the United States, they will actually leave every option on the table because their very existence will be threatened by a nuclearized Ayatollah.

Read more:

Russia decides to evacuate diplomats from Ukraine soon to ‘protect their lives’

Israel accuses Iran of providing munitions for drones supplied to Venezuela

The Houthi crisis is creating an Emirati-Israeli opportunity

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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