The Biden administration is moving full steam ahead to negotiate a return to the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), come hell or high water. And Iranians will continue to be living in hell after the phony “election” of Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s new president. Raisi is a hard-line cleric and protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and he has the blood of thousands of Iranian civilians on his hands. He will replace the current president, Hassan Rouhani, this August.
Many Iranians decided not to vote on June 18th, as the outcome was already preordained. So-called “reform” candidates were excluded from the ballot.
Fortunately, not everyone is as craven as Joe Biden in dealing with the thuggish Iranian regime. Israel knows exactly what the regime is up to and has communicated its concerns regarding the dangers of the U.S. re-entering the JCPOA to the Biden administration. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff Aviv Kohavi met with top Biden defense and national security officials for this very purpose during his visit to Washington that commenced on June 20th.
“The chief of staff presented the failures of the current nuclear deal, which allow Iran to make significant advances in the coming years in the quantity and quality of centrifuges and in the amount and quality of enriched uranium, and he stressed the lack of oversight in the area of developing a nuclear weapon,” the IDF said in a statement.
However, the Biden administration is not listening. Thus, others must fill the leadership vacuum by taking direct action against the Iranian regime, including by sabotaging Iran’s nuclear facilities whenever possible.
Past sabotage attacks on Iran’s facilities used to produce advanced centrifuges and have seriously set back the regime’s nuclear weapons program. Israel is suspected of working with dissidents inside Iran, but Israel is of course remaining mum. The latest attack occurred on June 23rd, which Iran claims it foiled — and the attack resulted in no damage.
With Raisi taking over the presidency from the allegedly less conservative Rouhani, the Iranian regime has dropped all pretense at so-called “moderation.” Raisi has a long history of horrific human rights abuses. For example, as a member of the Iranian regime’s “death commission” and serving as deputy prosecutor general at the time, Raisi helped oversee the executions of thousands of political dissidents imprisoned near Tehran in 1988. Raisi called these killings “one of the proud achievements of the system.”
As deputy chief justice, Raisi was deeply involved in the brutal crackdown on the Green Revolution dissidents in 2009. “To those who speak of ‘Islamic compassion and forgiveness’, we respond: we will continue to confront the rioters until the end and we will uproot this sedition,” Raisi said about the demonstrators.
Under Raisi’s leadership as head of the Iranian judiciary, the judiciary granted immunity to government officials and security forces who were responsible for killing, arresting, and torturing men, women and children caught up in the nationwide protests back in November 2019.
Incredibly, Raisi continues to stand by these horrendous actions. “I am proud of being a defender of human rights and of people’s security and comfort as a prosecutor wherever I was,” Raisi said at a news conference following his “election” victory. “All actions I carried out during my office were always in the direction of defending human rights.”
The United States under Former President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Raisi for his actions as one of Iran’s worst human rights abusers. Yet President Biden has not publicly denounced the phony “election” of this monster.
Biden is following in the footsteps of his former boss Barack Obama, who shamefully turned his back on the 2009 Iranian Green Protest Movement as demonstrators took to the streets to denounce the fraudulent presidential election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Obama put his ambitions for a nuclear deal with the Iranian regime far ahead of the human rights of the protesters, who were being shot, tortured, and imprisoned. Biden is clearly doing the same thing now.
National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee member Ali Safavi recently reminded Biden of his expressed intention to focus on human rights. “One of the main planks of the Biden administration was respect for human rights,” Safavi observed. “He said he would put human rights front and center. Well, here is a chance for him to show whether he is going to deliver on his promise.”
Safavi added: “The Biden administration should condemn the results—after all, they condemned the Syrian election. This is far worse than the Syrian election.”
Biden is not listening to such pleas because he doesn’t want to upset the JCPOA apple cart. Even if the Biden administration reaches an agreement to return to the JCPOA before Rouhani leaves office as it hopes to do, Raisi will still loom large as compliance with the JCPOA is implemented.
Raisi has already indicated that he has no intention of meeting with President Biden, who should return the favor. But expect instead the appeaser-in-chief to waive or terminate the U.S. sanctions against Raisi and beg for a meeting with the brute at the United Nations General Assembly’s annual high-level meeting this September, if not sooner.
When asked on June 21st how the Biden administration would deal with Raisi in light of the U.S. sanctions imposed on him, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki ducked the question. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Raisi “will be accountable for gross violations of human rights on his watch going forward.” (Emphasis added)
Going forward? Apparently, the Biden administration is so anxious to strike a deal with the Iranian regime that it is willing to let bygones be bygones when it comes to Raisi’s past record of human rights abuses.
Although President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have called for a longer and more robust agreement instead of just returning to the original JCPOA, Raisi has already put the kibosh on any changes to the JCPOA. He dismissed calls by Western negotiators that Iran’s ballistic missile program be included in the negotiations. The same is true for the Iranian regime’s support of armed militant groups in several countries in the region, such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis in Yemen.
“My serious recommendation to the U.S. government is to immediately return to their commitments, lift all the sanctions and show that they have good will,” Raisi said to reporters in Tehran. “Regional issues and missiles are not negotiable.”
Biden should take Raisi’s words seriously and end the negotiations with the Iranian regime immediately. Instead, Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan remains cautiously optimistic. He thinks that an agreement could be reached at least to restore full compliance with the JCPOA by the United States and Iran, which the Biden administration hopes will happen before Raisi takes office. After all, Sullivan said during an interview with ABC’s “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos, “The ultimate decision for whether or not to go back into the deal lies with Iran’s supreme leader and he was the same person before this election as he is after the election.” (Emphasis added)
It is totally reckless to settle for simply going “back into the deal,” which expires in just a few years and contains enough loopholes to drive a Mack truck through. The Iranian regime will bank any immediate sanctions relief it receives from the Biden administration and act even more lawlessly with the mass murderer Raisi serving as the president of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
The only effective way to deal with the thuggish Iranian regime is to apply further maximum economic pressure, isolate the regime diplomatically, continue sabotaging Iran’s nuclear facilities, and provide material support for those Iranian people courageous enough to protest the regime in the streets. Only then is there a chance to cause the rogue regime to finally collapse through implosion. President Biden is doing precisely the opposite as appeaser-in-chief.