Column: Biden is likely to get a new Iran nuclear deal. But it will cost him politically

McManus: Biden's making a deal with Iran. It's good foreign policy — at a painful political price

6/23/2021 2:04:00 PM

McManus: Biden's making a deal with Iran. It's good foreign policy — at a painful political price

President Biden’s negotiators are moving toward renewing former President Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, a deal renounced by former President Trump.

More CoverageBut the mullahs didn’t buckle. Instead, freed from the agreement’s limits, they accelerated uranium enrichment and moved closer to the point at which they could quickly build a bomb.AdvertisementA renewed agreement would not only halt that progress, but reverse it. And it would reimpose international inspections that made it impossible for Iran to build a nuclear weapon more rapidly than the United States could stop it.

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So what’s the problem?Like many international agreements — and this one involves not only Iran and the United States, but five other countries — the nuclear deal isn’t perfect.For one thing, it isn’t permanent. Most of its major provisions expire in 2030, which seemed a long time away in 2015 but doesn’t now. After that date, in the absence of a new agreement, Iran could return to increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium.

For another, the deal leaves many other problems unsolved. Beyond nuclear weapons, Iran’s militant Islamist regime challenges U.S. interests across the entire Middle East, supporting anti-American factions in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. The closest U.S. ally in the region, Israel, considers Iran a mortal enemy.

And the Tehran government is a singularlyunpleasant regime.It imprisons dissidents, funds organizations the U.S. labels as terrorist and chants “Death to America” on major holidays.Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is as bitterly anti-American as ever, and the president whose election Khamenei engineered last week,

isn’t just a hard-liner; he’s guilty of crimes against humanity. In his earlier career as a judge, he presided over the summary execution of an estimated 5,000 political prisoners.Any deal with a regime like that is an easy target for GOP attacks.Advertisement

“Religious zealots run the place,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina complained this week. “The idea of going back into negotiations with the ayatollah and his henchmen is insane.”Other critics have complained that the deal will require the United States to lift some economic sanctions, enabling Iran to resume exporting oil. That’s Iran’s reward for accepting renewed nuclear restrictions — but it’s not, as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas suggested, a transfer of money from the U.S. Treasury.

The gaps in the deal have been criticized by Democrats, too. In March, 140 members of the House of Representatives, 70 from each party, joined a letter urging that any deal extend the nuclear agreement beyond 2030 and address other U.S. concerns, including Iran’s ballistic missile program and its intervention in other countries.

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Biden and his aides have promised to tackle those problems — but later. Adding them to the already difficult negotiation, they argue, would make the nuclear deal unreachable.Advertisement“We have to keep our eye on the ball,” Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, said Sunday, referring to the nuclear problem.

But the administration’s promise of future negotiations on non-nuclear concerns took a hit on Monday from Raisi,Iran’s president-elect.“Regional issues and missiles are not negotiable,” he said.The promise of a continuing standoff with Iran over those issues offers Republicans a political prize as they look forward to elections in 2022 and 2024: a revival of the ancient GOP theme that Democratic presidents are “soft” on U.S. adversaries.

Republicans have already accused Biden of being “soft on China,” even though he has beenin criticizing Beijing’s human rights policies and ordered an official investigation of claims that the virus that causes COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese research lab.

AdvertisementMore laughably, Cruz has accused Biden of being “soft on Russia,” even though the new president has been far tougher onVladimir Putinthan Trump, who often praised the Russian autocrat in effusive terms.On Iran, though, the charge that Biden’s policies are soft may have a better chance of sticking — in part because his nuclear deal won’t constrain Iran’s behavior on other issues.

Republicans will say the deal was a bust because Iran will still be ruled by Khamenei’s regime. It will still be imprisoning dissidents, proclaiming enmity toward Israel and meddling in the affairs of its neighbors.The Biden administration insists it will continue some economic sanctions on Iran, and reimpose more stringent ones if necessary. But the “soft on” charge has a long history for Republicans, who have denounced Democrats for being soft on everything from foreign policy and immigration to street crime.

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End the BipartisanRacistOilWarOfTerror

Iran president-elect takes hard line, refuses to meet BidenThe comments by Ebrahim Raisi offered a blunt preview of how Iran might deal with the wider world in the next four years as it enters a new stage in negotiations to resurrect its now-tattered 2015 nuclear deal with global powers. The news conference in Tehran also marked the first time the judiciary chief found himself confronted on live television about his role in the 1988 mass execution of political prisoners at the end of the Iran-Iraq war. Raisi offered no specific response to that dark chapter in Iranian history, but appeared confident and defiant as he described himself as a “defender of human rights.” The world leaders are so hot with intuitive toxic nature and hence nothing w'd emerge in direct talks too? Time and nature to remind them to retreat to the inclusive approach?

Iran president-elect takes hard line, refuses to meet BidenIran’s president-elect says he’s not willing to meet with President Joe Biden or negotiate over Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its support for regional militias “He hates these microphones!” world_news_eng Iranians are not dumb.Their neighbour Saddam gave the west all the weapons he had.Everybody knows how he finished. When Iran gets bombed, all you folks can't say they were just trying to live peacefully, in the family of nations, as the peaceful islamofascist american and israel threatening terrorists they've always been

Netanyahu says 'dangerous' new government in Israel will tell U.S. before attacking Iran'When it comes to matters of our security, our very survival, I've always reserved the right to act on our own without informing our American friends,' the former prime minister said. By 'friends' do you mean the people who have expended both blood and treasure for the survival of your country Benjamin? Israel

Iran: 'Sabotage attack' on civilian nuclear center foiledTEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities have thwarted what they called a “sabotage attack” targeting a civilian nuclear facility near the country's capital, Iranian media reported Wednesday, as details about the incident remained scarce. Keep wondering how long before we experience an attack on our nuclear plants since we know that Russia hackers are lying in wait inside our electrical grids. These creatures sure have nothing to do with it If it's a civilian nuclear program, why is it managed by the Revolutionary Guards? 🤔

US government seizes dozens of US website domains connected to IranThe United States government has seized dozens of US website domains connected to Iran, linked to what the US says are disinformation efforts, a US national security official told CNN. It's probably funded by the GOP Oh so there are plenty of bad actors.

US takes down Iran-linked news sites, alleges disinformationDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — American authorities took down a range of Iran’s state-linked news websites they accused of spreading “disinformation” on Tuesday, a U.S. official said, a move that appeared to be a far-reaching crackdown on Iranian media amid heightened tensions between the two countries. out of the subject ساهموا معنا بنشر الهاشتاغ لرفع صوت المعتقلين Please help raising the voice of Syrian detainees by sharing the hashtags: TruthandJusticeFirst SaveTheSyrianDetainees بدنا_المعتقلين بدنا SyriasDisappeared SyriaNotSafe Syria أسأل الله العظيم رب العرش العظيم ان يرزقني بأهل الخير يا سعدونى اختكم ام طفلين معاقين وابوهم مريض نفسي احتاج المساعدة لوجه الله تعالى