To be certain, a deal with Iran is critical. But not just any deal. President Biden should not sleepwalk into a bad deal. Here are a few worrying aspects.
First, sending Iran a truckload of cash is a bad idea. If you give Iran money, it will most likely use it to fund terrorism against America and Israel. In a TIPP Poll conducted earlier this month, 61 percent of Americans believed it was a bad idea. It included 58 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Republicans, and 54 percent of independents.
Second, the news about Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is worrying for the world. It is a bad move for the U.S. to remove terrorist designation for IRGC. The removal of the corps from the terrorist list and the newfound cash will encourage Iran to engage in more terrorist activities against Israel and the United States. The United States, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain have designated IRGC as a terrorist organization. It is the driving force behind Iran's proxy wars in the region. It funds and coordinates terrorist groups such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen, and Iraqi Shia militias. The IRGC was behind the killing of many Americans in the region. A U.S. drone strike at Baghdad International Airport in 2020 killed its ruthless commander General Qasem Soleimani.
IRGC threatens Israel with its missiles and by funding Hizballah and other terrorist groups. On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued a joint statement urging the Biden administration not to remove the IRGC from the list of terrorist organizations. Their strong statement called the proposed move "an insult to the victims." Even 12 members of his party wrote to President Biden last week. They expressed their concern with news reports about the removal of the designation. "It is hard to envision supporting an agreement along the lines being publicly discussed," they said.
Third, building a bad deal on top of a bad deal makes it worse. Most Americans think that the 2015 deal was bad. A TIPP Poll conducted in early March found that 39 percent of Americans thought the 2015 agreement was a "bad deal," while 28 percent thought it was a "good deal."
Fourth, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Rosatom, a Russian state-owned nuclear energy company, will get a $10 billion contract to extend Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant. Does this sound familiar? President Biden's policies discouraged domestic drilling. The U.S. reduced its domestic oil supply and imported 700,000 barrels of crude oil and refined petroleum products per day from Russia. The proceeds helped to fund Putin's war chest. Three million Ukrainians have become refugees as a result of Putin's war. The new agreement would provide a means to avoid economic sanctions and send money to Russia. And strengthen Rosatom, its nuclear enterprise. It would be tantamount to rewarding someone who fired hypersonic missiles at Ukraine and used chemical weapons in Syria.
Fifth, the optics of Putin, who President Biden called a "war criminal" negotiating with Tehran on our behalf, does not pass the smell test. How many Americans would believe that Putin has the best interest of the U.S.?
Sixth, last Sunday, Iran launched missiles near our embassy in Erbil. It claimed it was retaliation for an earlier Israeli strike in Syria that killed two IRGC members. Iran dared to do this while the nuclear talks were still ongoing even before inking the deal. If this is the state of affairs before the deal, with the newfound money, it is difficult to imagine Iran's actions.
Seventh, the United States Constitution provides that the president "shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur" (Article II, section 2). Treaties are binding agreements between nations and become part of international law. Why is President Biden not signing the deal with the consent of the Senate? Wouldn't a deal that is acceptable to both Republicans and Democrats have a longer staying power?
Suppose President Biden inks any deal to be a non-Trump. In that case, he may again live up to former Defense Secretary Bob Gates' words, "I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades." For the sake of peace in the world, especially in the Middle East, we hope President Biden will break his record.
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