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An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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Pardon us if this week’s Action Update feels like you’ve heard what we’re saying before. We assure our faithful readers that we’re not recycling old material. Sadly however, it appears the Biden administration is doing just that when it comes to American policy towards Iran.

Money For Prisoners (Take two)

The Americans have denied it. The Brits have downplayed it. And yet the Iranians are reporting on their state television that the Islamic Republic is going to release American and British prisoners in exchange for billions of dollars in cash. If this sounds familiar that’s because this is exactly what was done under the Obama administration.

In August of 2016, the Wall Street Journal ran the following headline, “U.S. Sent Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed.” The Journal went onto report, “The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.

So… yes, it appears the United States is once again on the precipice of bribing the world’s leading sponsor of terror. We imagine Hezbollah’s CFO is already reworking his terrorist organization’s projected 2022 budget.

Sanctions Relief for Empty Promises (Take Two)

Meanwhile, while the Biden administration has repeatedly called for a “longer and stronger” agreement with Tehran, indications are that instead America’s negotiators are capitulating to Iranian demands as if its their job… (it isn’t, is it?).

According to reports, Iran’s top nuclear negotiators said thus far Team Biden has agreed to remove sanctions on Iran’s oilindustry, banking sector and most of the other individuals and entities that were sanctioned. It’s as if the administration is forgetting the Iranians are: the world’s leading sponsor of terror; pursuing a nuclear weapons capability; and serial human rights abusers, just to name a few.

If the US is giving up its leverage in return for more empty promises and unverifiable short-term agreements with Iran, then we really are back where we were before President Trump left the Iran nuclear accord. Just over 100 days in office, and the administration is looking to regress nearly 4 years.

Looking the Other Way (Take Two)

As an American pro-Israel organization we often focus on American and Israeli interests in the context of policy towards Iran. But we make a point of always highlighting the Islamic Republic’s mistreatment of their own people because an Iranian life is worth no less than any other. In that respect, we embrace the classical Christian, and for that matter classical liberal, ideal that all life has inherent worth.

That is why we are truly dismayed that the above news about potential American capitulation to the tyrants of Tehran comes just as the regime announced that they’re mulling over the prospect of murdering a man named Vahid Afkari. The regime already killed his brother, champion wrestler Navid Afkari. The Afkari brothers alleged “crime?” Speaking out against the brutal oppression of the regime with which our own government is now, yet again, seeking to do business. We weep and pray for the Afkari family, and for all those upon whose throats the Iranian regime’s boot stands.

While we hope that the administration’s denials of the massive scope of potential concessions to the Iranian regime are sincere, the direction of the talks making headlines would indicate otherwise. As such, policy makers on Capitol Hill have been busy at countering capitulation to Tehran and we’ve made sure our voices are heard as well. Be it garnering support for legislation which would enable Congress to block any Team Biden proposal to lift sanctions against the Iranian regime or efforts to codify the maximum pressure campaign – those who are committed to pushing back against another bad deal are putting their cards on the table.

But as we’ve seen in the past, it’s not just legislators and foreign leaders who have a say in how the next phase in US-Iran relations unfolds. It’s also business leaders and the markets they feed who will need to assess whether a highly partisan and publicly unpopular political agreement, with the leading state sponsor of terrorism, is good enough to turn on the financial spigots. Many in Congress and many more across the country have made it clear: a deal which falls short of being comprehensive and bipartisan will have an extremely short shelf life.

Until next week, thank you as always for keeping up to date on the latest developments on Iran and all the issues facing the US-Israel relationship.

Sincerely,

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