Biden caves, will lift sanctions on Iran

Earlier this week, we discussed the news that Washington and Tehran were resuming back-channel negotiations regarding that country’s nuclear program. At that time, I speculated that there were two possible explanations for how this rapprochement came about. One was that the Iranians had finally given up hope of any concessions coming from the new administration and had decided to see what sort of offer might be on the table. The other was that Joe Biden had signaled that he would cave to Iran’s demands that sanctions be lifted prior to any renewed discussions. Well, break out your spelunking gear, because it looks like the big cave is underway. (Free Beacon)

The United States is prepared to remove sanctions on Iran to resume compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, including those that are inconsistent with the 2015 pact, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday, without providing details.

“We are prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the JCPOA, including by lifting sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA. I am not in a position here to give you chapter and verse on what those might be,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters. He was referring to the pact formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

This is apparently the official position of the State Department. The statement wasn’t coming from some anonymous source behind closed doors. It was put out by Ned Price, a State Department spokesperson. The translation of sanctions “that are inconsistent with the 2015 pact” isn’t very hard to figure out. Biden is going to lift all of the additional sanctions imposed by Donald Trump’s State Department as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign, leaving in place only the ones that were imposed under Obama/Biden prior to 2017.

What we see here is yet another example of the new president undoing everything that was done during the Trump administration, whether it was working or not. That’s similar to Biden’s immediate end to construction on the border wall. (How’s that working out for you, Uncle Joe?)

Stop and consider that it hasn’t been very long since Iranian-backed militants launched a rocket attack against our installations in Iraq. They’ve also been up to some very aggressive maneuvers at sea, threatening American Navy vessels and commercial shipping. Is this really the sort of behavior that merits lifting sanctions? We seem to be ponying up a hefty price before we even know if Iran wants to consider opening up its nuclear facilities and abandoning its dream of building tactical weapons.

It’s somewhat ironic that Biden would make this decision barely 24 hours after a group of more than 300 prominent Iranian-Americans petitioned his administration to not only keep the sanctions in place but speak out on behalf of regime change in Iran.

A group of more than 300 prominent Iranian Americans are petitioning the Biden administration to publicly support dissident efforts to overthrow the Islamic Republic’s hardline clerical government.

As the Biden administration seeks direct talks with Iran’s mullahs in pursuit of a revamped nuclear agreement, the group of Iranian Americans—including scholars, professors, physicians, and industry executives—is warning the White House against unwinding economic sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy and sparked widespread anti-government protests.

I suppose this group of doctors, professors and CEOs have the answer to their petition already. Don’t expect Joe Biden to endorse regime change in Tehran while he’s busy greasing palms to get back into the nuclear deal talks. I also find myself wondering what impact this could have on our dealings with North Korea. We have thus far heard nothing from them since Joe Biden took office except for missile launch tests. Kim Jong-un has been insisting that he too wants sanctions relief before he’ll come to the table. Now that he’s seen what’s going on with Iran, I doubt he’ll be inspired to stop stonewalling us.