Obama/Biden and Iran: Deja Vu All Over Again

In 2009 Obama had a chance to support revolutionary forces in Iran. He declined. His former vice president is making the same mistake.

A few months back I posted on Cleaning up Obama’s Worst Mistake. Yes, we need to know which worst mistake we are talking about, it’s a long list, but for the purpose of this post it will be Iran.

In the early part of the Obama administration, the Iranian government was challenged by the Green Movement, younger Iranians who have no memory of the Shah but had access to overseas television and the internet. They saw people living their lives without the oppression of the mullahs. Women walking in public alone, not covered head to toe, driving vehicles, attending college, having careers. They lived relatively freely, even in other Middle Eastern countries, and after three decades of rule by the ayatollahs, they wanted something different.

Foreign policy “achievements” in the Obama years characterized by throwing many (relatively) stable nations into chaos. Egypt, Syria, Libya. His open hostility to allies in the region (e.g., Saudi Arabia) is well known, as well as his animosity (actually Anti-Semitism) to Israel.  But for some reason Iran has not a target of the Obama’s destabilizing operations, when it was primed for it.

Instead, the Obama administration, particularly in the second term, went full speed for an agreement with Iran to slow down their nuclear weapons program. The results, from US News:

Originally, diplomacy with Iran was supposed to be based on a straight trade-off: America (and its partners) would end nuclear-related sanctions while Iran would end its domestic nuclear program. Then the US would allow Iran to have its own nuclear reactors but not to develop indigenous capacity to enrich nuclear fuel, which can be used for warheads. Well, Obama said they could enrich, but under “strict limitations.” Then, Obama/Kerry told Iran the “strict limitations” on enrichment would expire at point in the future. They kicked the can down the road, but at least they had a piece of paper.

“Peace for our time” anyone? For a moron who despises the British, Obama sounded a lot like Neville Chamberlain, while John Kerry was making his last-ditch effort for a Nobel Peace Prize. Why not, the prize is worthless.

After the Trump administration exited the plan and re-imposed sanctions, the Iranian regime was against put against the wall economically. The Israeli’s were putting pressure on the nuclear development by assassinating the scientists and engineers working on the program. [1] We were making an effort to stop the Iranians using the only diplomacy they react to: force.

Fast forward to 2021, in one of the many errors of Obama’s third term, President Biden removed several sanctions on Iranian companies and officials, and went back into talks with Tehran, hat in hand, to reenter the Iran Nuke Deal. Then Biden removed more sanctions. Good to know the mullahs appreciated the administration’s groveling:

Iran dismisses Biden’s nuke sanctions lift as ‘not enough’ for a deal

Iran’s foreign minister pooh-poohed President Biden’s latest olive branch Saturday — dismissing the end of sanctions on its civilian nuclear program as “not enough” to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“The lifting of some sanctions can in itself translate into good faith,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, according to Iranian state media. “But it’s not enough.”

The State Department notified Congress on Friday that it had restored so-called “civ-nuke” waivers, allowing non-American companies to work on civilian nuclear projects in Iran without drawing retaliation from the US government…

While the current administration is trying as best they can to transition from Operation Warp Speed (The Covid vaccine) to Operation Warp Speed II (Iranian nuclear weapon development), something else popped up. In September the Iranian “morality police” assaulted 22-year-old Mahsa Amini so badly she died three days later at a hospital. Since then protest have erupted all over the country, led by women who are tired of being 4th class citizens in their home country. Women are burning their head coverings and cutting their hair, in spite of countless protesters being killed by the security forces or sentenced to death for opposing the regime.

If we had a president thinking about achieving American foreign policy (Or thinking, period), he could see what is this. Opportunity. Our greatest enemy in the Middle East (and a close third to China and Russia) is reaching a boiling point. Almost two-thirds of the population is under 40, meaning they have no memory of life before the Islamic Revolution, and they want to join the modern world.

It’s in America’s, and in the world’s interest that the Iranian government be overthrown. Direct intervention would be unwise, as we are already stretched thin. However, we can provide logistical support, training, intelligence, and other assistance to keep the latest uprising going. This is exactly what the Army’s Special Forces were established for. Also, we can count on the support of our allies in the region (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc), as they know the biggest threat in the region comes from Tehran. If the mullahs feel threatened, they will likely draw back on support of outside terrorist groups, like the ones in Iraq. 

So what will Biden and Secretary of Defense Austin do? I would not expect them to reach out to the brave women in Iran’s streets, risking their lives, to support their efforts for freedom. First, the Democratic party wants a piece of paper to show for its efforts. The fact it will be more worthless than the Munich Agreement means nothing to them, they have something to show for betraying millions of people and literally endangering the world. And their business supporters will have new customers in Tehran.

Two, there is a belief in many on the left the United States has no moral authority to tell any nation they cannot have nuclear weapons. After all, America used two atomic bombs on civilian targets in World War II and threated to use them in Korea. It still incredible to me that these “intelligent” liberals don’t realize we killed more with one night of firebombing of Toyoko than with the Little Boy and Fat Man bombs. And the use of those two weapons, as horrific as they were, ended the war before 1946/47, saving countless lives.

Three, the blatant anti-Semitism of the modern Democratic party cannot be overlooked. Then President Obama openly declared his support for a “two state” solution of the issues between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, based on pre 1967 War borders, with the Jewish state 7-9 miles wide at some points. In other words, indefensible. But up and coming members of the Democratic party leadership, such as Congresswoman Omar are blatantly hostile to Israel. Having a radical Islamic nation with nuclear weapons will balance with area, in their way of thinking.

The problem with that school of thrust is Iran would not likely show the restraint Israel has. An open secret, Israel has had nuclear weapons since the early 1970s, and the means to deeply them regionally. For a government swearing they are only developing nuclear technology for “peaceful” purposes, Iran is still working on developing ICBMs that can range the US and Europe. If the research is peaceful, why have ICBM?

I wish these brave women all the best, because the US government, at this moment, will not support them. The administration is dead set for an agreement with Tehran, the fact it’s only speeds the mullahs onto a nuke weapon is of no concern. Hopefully Israel and other allies can assist you as your challenge the mullahs. God be with you.

Michael A. Thiac is a retired Army intelligence officer, with over 23 years experience, including serving in the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the Middle East. He is also a retired police patrol sergeant, with over 22 years’ service, and over ten year’s experience in field training of newly assigned officers. He has been published at The American Thinker, PoliceOne.com, and on his personal blog, A Cop’s Watch.

Opinions expressed are his alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of current or former employers.

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  1. Bergman, Ronen, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations. New York: Random House, 2018
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