As campaign slogans go, “Let’s take it easy on the mullahs” expired sometime in the fall of 1980. Perhaps Joe Biden didn’t get that memo. In a statement critical of the Trump administration’s hard line on Iran, the presumptive Democratic nominee declared that the coronavirus pandemic requires the US to lift sanctions on Tehran for “humanitarian purposes” — even as the Iranians continue to hold Americans hostage.

Paging Jimmy Carter — Jimmy Carter to the red emergency phone, please:

“In times of global crisis, America should lead. We should be the first to offer help to people who are hurting or in danger. That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been,” the former veep said in a statement.

“And, in the midst of this deadly pandemic that respects no borders, the United States should take steps to offer what relief we can to those nations hardest hit by this virus — including Iran — even as we prioritize the health of the American people.” …

Biden acknowledged that Iran’s mullahs had failed to effectively manage the crisis, and that Iran and its proxies were still spreading unrest and promoting violence in the region, but asserted the US should help anyway on humanitarian grounds.

“The Iranian people are hurting desperately. It makes no sense, in a global health crisis, to compound that failure with cruelty by inhibiting access to needed humanitarian assistance. Whatever our profound differences with the Iranian government, we should support the Iranian people,” he said.

The New York Post notes that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already offered to ease some sanctions, but only after Iran releases all of the Americans it has in its prisons. Thus far the Iranians refuse to release them at all, although it did allow one American detainee to go to the Swiss embassy for an independent medical evaluation. That was supposed to be only a two-week furlough, however, not a release; the Iranians expect Michael White to serve his full term for violating their version of lèse majeste. 

Why would Biden lift sanctions against a regime that refuses to release Americans it holds for hostaging purposes? Better yet, why would he lift sanctions against a regime whose proxies continue to target American military posts in Iraq? How “humanitarian” are those activities? And let’s not forget that this is the same regime which pocketed a billion euros in aid for themselves rather than share it with “the Iranian people”:

Iranian regime officials stole more than $1 billion meant to help the country’s people fight the spread of coronavirus, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

European countries intended for more than $1 billion in aid to go to the Iranian people, who have been ravaged by the virus. But American officials say regime leaders instead pocketed the money to protect themselves from the virus as it spreads throughout the population. This includes hoarding medical supplies that were meant to aid Iranian citizens.

Hasn’t Biden helped shove enough cash into the mullah’s pockets over the years? Come on, man. When Iran releases the Americans in its custody, then we can talk about easing some sanctions for COVID-19 relief. Until then, let the mullahs open their own bank accounts and take care of their own people.