Opinion: Why is Biden going back to the Iran deal?

Even the way the administration goes about reentering the deal is puzzling.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Why would Biden go back to the Iran deal? Frankly, we’re baffled.

It didn’t make sense in 2015 when Obama did it. It makes even less sense in 2021. The agreement is a proven disaster, its failings exposed, its critics vindicated.

As Michael Oren and Yossi Klein Halevi write in the January Atlantic: “The agreement did not shut down a single nuclear facility or destroy a single centrifuge.

The ease and speed with which Iran has resumed producing large amounts of more highly enriched uranium – doing so at a time of its own choosing – illustrates the danger of leaving the regime with these capabilities.”

Nor did the deal stop Iran from developing advanced centrifuges and ballistic missiles. Nor did it address the Koran-infused ayatollahs’ malignant designs. (Iran’s parliament even debated a bill to set a time limit of 20 years for wiping out Israel.)

All the deal did was limit Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, and that for 10 or so years. That’s not a prohibition, that’s a countdown.

As John Bolton summed it up in The Room Where It Happened: “The deal was badly conceived, abominably negotiated and drafted, and entirely advantageous to Iran: unenforceable, unverifiable, and inadequate in duration and scope. Although purportedly resolving the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, the deal did no such thing.”

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If nuclear bombs were skyscrapers, it would be like OK’ing the foundation, superstructure and interior, including the paint – and then telling the builder to hold off on flipping on the electricity until 2026. And here’s $150 million in cash to help you pass the time.

Sane pundits are left scratching their heads. New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin, in a rundown of Biden’s backward policies, says, “His plan to rejoin the Iran nuke deal that Trump scuttled is perhaps the looniest idea of all because of the shock waves it sends around the Middle East.”

So why is Biden doing it? Is it Trump derangement syndrome? A desire to erase any trace of Trump’s presence in the White House? Is it pecuniary – an eagerness to do business with Iran’s population of 82 million? That’s a big factor with the Europeans, who appear to have been projecting during the centuries they accused the Jews of coveting lucre.

Even the way the administration goes about reentering the deal is puzzling. First it says Iran must return to compliance before it will lift sanctions. But on Feb. 18 it rescinded the Trump administration’s decision to invoke the “snapback mechanism” built into the UN Security Council endorsement of the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran can now buy and sell conventional weapons with impunity. That sounds a lot like lifting sanctions to us.

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The U.S. blinked first and “the conqueror once is generally the conqueror forever,” to quote Anthony Trollope. We expect (sadly) to see Iran go from strength to strength in its negotiations with the Biden administration, and we’ll be thinking as we watch that we’ve seen this movie before during the Obama years.

Like Obama, Biden ignores those with most skin in the game, above all Israel, first stop on Iran’s nuclear destruction train, but also Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. They know an Iran nuke deal is a recipe for destabilization, terrorism and war.

Victor Davis Hanson warned recently of the probability of the latter “as we go not just from one president to the next, but from a realist and tragic view of foreign policy to an idealist and therapeutic one.”

It’s not just Iran, says Hanson, but China and North Korea, which “will be emboldened to provoke their neighbors with less worry about consequences.”

“Wars begin when aggressive powers believe that their targets are weaker, or give the false impression that they are weaker, or at least stay inert in the face of provocation,” he writes.

It’s easy to understand the Iranians. As for the Biden administration, as Yul Brynner says in “The King and I”: “Is a puzzlement!”

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David Isaac is managing editor of World Israel News.