An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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This week’s edition of the Action Update presents the good news and the bad news from Iran to Lebanon and, of course, our nation’s capital. It’s been an interesting week for US foreign policy and world affairs, so let’s dive right in.

A Step in the Right Direction

Following a recent Iran-backed drone attack on a base in Syria that housed US servicemembers, the Biden Administration has sanctioned several companies associated with the Islamic Republic’s UAV program. The Administration also sanctioned the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp’s (IRGC) Aerospace Force UAV command.

This is of course good news, as is the Administration’s acknowledgement that Iran, through the IRGC, is proliferating weapons to the worst actors in the region.

In fact, in the press release announcing the sanctions, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo, was quoted as saying, “Iran’s proliferation of UAVs across the region threatens international peace and stability. Iran and its proxy militants have used UAVs to attack U.S. forces, our partners, and international shipping… Treasury will continue to hold Iran accountable for its irresponsible and violent acts.”

Now that’s a strong quote. But that’s not really the entire story….

A Step in the Wrong Direction

Alas, if only the Administration’s approach to Iran were consistent. Unfortunately, at the G20 Summit this past week, President Biden once again signaled his desire to get Iran back to the useless Iran nuclear accord negotiated by President Obama. At least Secretary of State Blinken paid lip service to the idea that Iran may not be serious about any negotiations, noting that he wasn’t sure Iran was seeking to engage in “meaningful” talks.

If we at the CUFI Action Fund see this wishy-washy foreign policy messaging for what it is, rest assured so too do the Iranians. Some sanctions here, a few others there, and yet an open invitation to return to a negotiating table that has gotten us to the very state in which Tehran is already engaged in pre-nuclear blackmail and has never been more emboldened.

The regime in Iran may be evil, but they aren’t stupid. They see the world as it is and seek to make the world as they wish it to be. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration seems to see the world only as they wish it to be, and put simply, as a result, the West is losing its chess game with Iran.

Lebanon Losing More Friends

Speaking of viewing the world clearly, in recent days Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have all pulled their ambassadors from Beirut. The move comes after Lebanon’s Information Minister condemned Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab nations for their conflict with Iran backed forces in Yemen. Predictably, Hezbollah commended Lebanon’s Information Minister for his comment.

The people of Lebanon, Israel, countless of Members of Congress and now America’s closest allies in the Arab world are all fed up with Hezbollah’s domination of Beirut. So we find ourselves in a similar position as with Iran: still waiting for the Biden Administration to see the state of Lebanon for what it is, not as they wish it to be.

At its core, US foreign policy is being undermined by a refusal to acknowledge that Shia Islamic extremism, led by Iran, is the greatest threat to peace in security in the Middle East. This is rather odd considering Washington seems to have little problem confronting far more potent foes like China, Russia and North Korea – all of whom, incidentally – are Iranian allies. Yet, the Administration seems to defiantly reject the facts when it comes to Iran.

Well, we don’t. We don’t ignore what’s right in front of our faces and we won’t stop pushing the Administration to open its eyes and realize that sanctioning a few UAV companies and an IRGC commander is good, but not enough. There’s a reason peace through strength is a cliché – it works.


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