Manchin to Blinken on delisting IRGC: Are you nuts?

Manchin to Blinken on delisting IRGC: Are you nuts?
Drew Angerer/Pool via AP

Perhaps Joe Manchin didn’t put it to Antony Blinken quite as bluntly as questioning his sanity, but he didn’t miss by much. Apparently bypassing Joe Biden, Manchin today dressed down the Secretary of State for negotiating concessions for Iran in order to access their oil production. Manchin declared himself “particularly worried” that Blinken and his team would de-list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations — especially since they’re still funding terror proxies.

Why would we do this, Manchin wondered, rather than simply investing in domestic energy production? Good question:

Manchin then elaborated on all of the ways that the IRGC conducts Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism:

Politico’s Burgess Everett notes that while Manchin voted against Barack Obama’s original JCPOA, he was initially inclined to support it:

With that in mind, Manchin’s “respectful[] request” to have the White House provide a “detailed briefing” and an opportunity for Congress to have “due process” on the renewed Iran deal sounds like a shot across Biden’s bow. Manchin makes that almost explicit in his final point, in which he pledges to “do everything in my power to ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.”

In other words, Manchin’s not going to go along this time, either. One has to wonder just how many other Senate Democrats will, especially while Biden’s tapping bottom on job approval ratings and has clearly lost the confidence of the electorate.

Interestingly, Manchin doesn’t even make the best point about the idiocy of the current negotiations, which is that Biden’s working with Vladimir Putin on negotiations. That’s the same Vladimir Putin that Biden has accused of being a “war criminal,” not without justification, and called for his removal from power. An even better question than energy policy would be why Biden and Blinken are allowing Putin to craft American national-security policy at precisely the same moment that he’s threatening NATO and violating numerous treaties and conventions with his invasion of Ukraine.

How many Democrats plan to defend Biden’s outsourcing of US security policy to Putin? I’d guess even fewer than those who will attempt to defend delisting the IRGC, especially given how Blinken’s deal will put billions of dollars into the pockets of Putin’s oligarchical clique.

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Jazz Shaw 10:01 AM on June 04, 2023