OPINION – President Trump’s non-stop ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran, along with some help from Israel and perhaps others, has destabilized the cleric’s terrorist regime. The regime is now weaker than ever.
So why would presumptive President-elect Joe Biden still want to return to the failed policies of Obama-Biden Iran appeasement?
Is it to burnish Barack Obama’s fading legacy, or simply reverse anything done by Trump?
After the spectacular and brazen daylight raid last week outside Tehran, which I described here, that took out the head of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program, Biden said it is “hard to tell” how much more difficult it will be now to get Iran to back the failed 2015 Obama-Biden nuclear deal.
Israel has warned Biden that returning to the deal could provoke a war with Iran. Saudi Arabia has told him they must be consulted prior to any return to that old deal.
And for good reason — that deal was an abject failure that only delayed Iran’s nuclear weapons program while gifting Iran hundreds of millions of dollars in planeloads of cash from formerly frozen Iranian assets, and billions of dollars in sanctions relief to pursue terrorism and missile development.
Since coming to office, Trump has been relentless in squeezing Iran and it is working. In 2017, Trump attended an Arab-Muslim summit of 54 countries in Saudi Arabia to create a unified front against Iran.
This initial effort has grown into an unprecedented Arab-Israeli peace process that has transformed the Middle East — and finally boxed-in Iran.
In 2018, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the dangerously misguided Iran nuclear deal and reimposed even tougher sanctions than those Obama-Biden lifted in 2015. This began the maximum pressure campaign which has crippled the Iranian economy and hindered its ability to finance terrorism and its illicit missile program.
In January 2020, President Trump raised the stakes even further when he took out the regime’s terror master and Quds Force commander, Qasem Soleimani, in a surgical drone strike in Iraq.
This strike, which Biden condemned, shocked the regime and scrambled its calculus about the U.S. willingness to respond beyond prior self-imposed restraints. But the onslaught against Iran did not end there.
There have also been more U.S. sanctions, numerous ambushes, and attacks on senior high-value targets inside Iran by unknown forces, and sabotage on a major scale. Unrest and protest have grown steadily inside Iran, with the regime increasingly on the defensive.
The Mullah’s horrific killing of over 1,500 innocent protesters in November 2019 underscored how unpopular the regime has become.
As I noted earlier, some Iranian officials are also claiming that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — the clerical regime’s stormtroopers — and secret police — have been infiltrated.
According to the New York Post, Ray Takeyh, an Iranian-American Middle East scholar, notes that the ayatollah’s grip on the country may be slipping, writing that “the Islamic republic today suffers from persistent intelligence failure, an ominous sign for a regime that rules through fear.”
The Iranian terror regime is clearly up against the ropes. It is in a weakened and degraded state. Now is not the time to go backward, but instead to press onwards.
Biden needs to drop his bizarre and dangerous obsession with appeasing Iran by returning to the failed 2015 Obama-Biden Iran nuclear deal. This isn’t about Obama’s legacy or about Trump. It is about what is best for American national security.