Joe Biden has frequently criticized President Trump’s decision to pull us out of the Iran nuclear deal, recently insisting that he still planned to resurrect the agreement as president. That plays pretty well with liberals and NeverTrumpers, but how practical is it really? The Associated Press put out an “explainer” this week describing just what a mess the situation with Iran has become and what’s awaiting Biden when he tries to tackle the subject. Given the recent series of events taking place surrounding the terrorist state, Biden’s task grows more complicated and difficult by the day. Things aren’t getting better on the diplomatic front with that nation. In fact, they are arguably getting far worse as each week ticks off the calendar.
Thanks to provocative moves by Iran and less-than-coherent actions by the outgoing Trump administration, the president-elect is facing an increasingly uncertain situation when it comes to Iran, a decades-long American nemesis that has been a target of blame for much of the Middle East’s instability,
In the past week alone, President Donald Trump’s team has dispatched B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf in response to alleged Iranian attack planning and reversed an order to bring home the USS Nimitz, the only U.S. aircraft carrier in the region.
On Monday, Iran not only announced it had resumed advanced uranium enrichment in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal but also seized a South Korean-flagged oil tanker and its crew.
Reading into Iran’s recent actions, it’s easy to see that they’re clearly watching what’s going on in the United States and planning accordingly. Starting yesterday, they’ve already begun creating uranium enriched to levels of 20%. That technically puts them only a step or two away from being able to produce weapons-grade fuel. And that’s only if you believe their public statements. Many analysts have suggested that they were already far closer, but since they’ve been so disingenuous when it comes to allowing IAEA inspectors onto their sites it’s impossible to say.
As the AP notes in the article linked above, they just seized a South Korean oil tanker and its crew. Their militias in Iraq have continued to launch rocket attacks on American and allied facilities. And they’ve been skirting international sanctions on them for years, most recently with the help of Russia and China. They’ve been involved in the unrest in Venezuela as well, throwing their support behind the totalitarian dictator there.
But why? And more to the point, why right now? It’s a safe bet that the Mullahs in Iran have been paying attention to events here in America. They see Joe Biden as more of a soft touch, which is understandable when you consider that Trump has been battering them in every way possible short of going to open warfare. Since Biden has already stated he would be going back to the table with Iran, despite all of their repeated bad behavior, we appear to be looking at a strategy straight out of a Texas hold ’em game. The more they ratchet up tensions and undertake increasingly provocative moves, the more room they have to “compromise” with Joe Biden and make it look like they’re willing to give up some ground.
For example, had the Iranians stuck to their previous agreements with the international community, they wouldn’t be enriching uranium at anywhere near these levels. Now, when Biden shows up with his hat in his hand asking for a compromise, they can simply say, ‘okay. We’ll back down from 20% to 18% but we’ll need a year or two before we can start.’ In that fashion, they wind up ahead of where they were only recently while creating the false appearance of working with the west. Who knows? Biden might even offer to loosen some sanctions as part of the bargain.
Meanwhile, Iran remains arguably one of the most dangerous regimes on the planet aside from North Korea. They clearly don’t want an all-out nuclear war with us or anyone else (a war they would immediately and disastrously lose), but they can assuredly foment chaos and build their growing alliances with our adversaries. Seeing Donald Trump leave office will clearly expedite those plans.