Iran’s rulers justify their existence, the country’s economic woes, and the crushing theocratic rule they impose on their people by claiming a divine right to rule and violently spread the Islamic Revolution throughout the world. Engaging with this regime has never produced positive results because if Iran did abandon its pariah status, it would have no justification for any of the above. Every move Iran has made clearly indicates they’ve no intention of changing their nature. So, why are American and European leaders acting as if Tehran would ever join the community of nations?

Tehran’s Divine License to Kill

In 1988, Salman Rushdie authored a book, The Satanic Verses, that Tehran found objectionable. So, the Supreme Leader of Iran issued a formal religious edict calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie. Last week, an American of Lebanese descent, Hadi Matar, attempted to murder Rushdie while the author was about to speak at an event. According to reports, Matar’s social media indicates that he is sympathetic to Iran’s regime, including its terrorist arm, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Rushdie was stabbed multiple times, and though he may lose an eye, it is believed he will survive.

In the days preceding the attempted assassination, the Department of Justice unsealed the indictment of Shahram Poursafi, aka Mehdi Rezayi, who is being charged with a murder-for-hire plot aimed at former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. Bolton is among the most clear-eyed national security experts in the country when it comes to the threat Iran poses to the free world and is outspoken in his views. According to numerous reports, Iran is also actively seeking to murder former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo among other leading former U.S. officials who sought to counter the radical regime through maximum pressure.

Earlier in the month, for the second time, the FBI saved the life of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian-American dissident who often speaks out against Iran’s abhorrent treatment of women (where many are refusing to wear the legally mandated hijab in an act of protest against the government). The first time the FBI saved Alinejad’s life, Iran had put together a plot to kidnap the dissident. In the latest event, agents arrested Khalid Mehdiyev outside Alinejad’s house. Mehdiyev was armed with a fully loaded AK-47.

Tehran believes that they can get away with murder. And in the coming days, the Biden administration will decide if Iran’s rulers are right.

The Apotheosis of Appeasement?

The European Union (EU) has put together a proposed final Iran nuclear accord and submitted it to Washington and Tehran. What details we know of are extremely troubling. First and foremost, Iran’s never going to abide by their commitments. And they’ve all but said so as Tehran’s immediate response to the proposal was that they need commitments that the International Atomic Energy Agency will simply stop asking questions about traces of undeclared nuclear materials found at several sites in Iran.

Perhaps worse yet, while the Biden administration knows it is politically impossible for Team Biden to remove the IRGC from the State Department’s list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, the European Union is proposing that they would take that appalling step to appease Iran. The result would be the creation of a massive loophole to US sanctions on the IRGC.

According to an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “Any deal that emerges from this arrangement would hands down benefit the IRGC and its myriad fronts and affiliates.”

Nothing we’ve shared today is unknown to the Biden administration. In fact, it’s a safe bet that the attempted assassinations and kidnappings we’ve laid out are merely the tip of the Iranian iceberg. The Islamic Republic of Iran is ruled by thugs. They beat women for not adhering to the strictest dress codes. They try to kill dissidents, former and current officials, and support terrorist activities aimed at maiming and murdering innocent people across the globe. They have consistently engaged in acts of war against American allies and on American soil. And yet the Biden administration is entertaining a weak short-term deal that will only serve to enrich these tyrants.

The results of any American and European appeasement of Iran are entirely predictable. Iran will continue to develop its nuclear program in secret with America’s Arab and Israeli allies concluding that they are on their own to confront this threat. But there will be a press release and a ceremony, and a news-cycle devoted to President Biden’s foreign policy “win” in the months leading up to the US mid-term elections.

We can always be pleasantly surprised, but we have no faith that the Biden administration will do the right thing – which is walk away from the talks and return to a pressure campaign.

So, here’s what we’re going to do: we’re going to focus on Congress. First, the weakening of sanctions on the IRGC is a clear bipartisan redline for many. Ensuring that U.S. sanctions are not circumvented by Europe, or this administration must be a priority and Congress has the ability to do so. Second, while a veto-proof majority in support of a resolution of disapproval as mandated by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act is a heavy lift, those who seek a nuclear-free Iran cannot stand idly by just so the Biden administration can have a politically expedient press release. Some things are bigger than politics and standing up the world’s leading sponsor of terror qualifies.


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