Iran Is Stalling as It Awaits Further Nuclear Concessions from the West

April 11 2022

On April 3, the Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said a nuclear deal was “close,” and that “the ball is in the U.S. court.” Since then, little progress has been made. Carine Hajjar notes that, despite the growing bipartisan opposition to the deal and the billions in sanction relief that have already been granted to it, the Islamic Republic seems to be waiting for its other conditions to be met.

Iranian demands are the final barrier [to a deal]. Tehran wants the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), one of the world’s most prolific supporters of terrorism, to be delisted as a foreign terrorist organization. It’s underscoring that demand with a request for a guarantee that the deal will remain in place after the Biden administration.

Fully knowing that the Biden administration cannot enact a permanent treaty, this is Iran’s bid to get some extra goodies in the final days of consideration. As of now, any deal passed by the Biden administration would be an international agreement, not a Senate-approved treaty, meaning it could be repealed by a future administration.

To excuse its concessions, the Biden administration has engaged in some damage-control optics. But that’s all they are: optics. For instance, it sanctioned an individual and a handful of companies associated with the IRGC’s ballistics program after the recent strike [on a U.S. consulate in the Iraqi city of] Erbil. But without continual and comprehensive pressure, these narrow sanctions will be one step forward, and four steps back.

The administration is also arguing that even if the IRGC is removed from the foreign-terrorist-organization list, “The IRGC will remain sanctioned under U.S. law and our perception of the IRGC will remain,” according to Robert Malley, the State Department’s special envoy for Iran. To legitimize this move, it has opted for a pinky-promise, asking Iran for a public written guarantee of good behavior. Iran won’t even do that.

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Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy

Iran’s Responsibility for West Bank Terror

On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer and was then shot by another officer after trying to grab his rifle. Commenting on the many similar instances of West Bank-based terror during the past several months, Amit Saar, a senior IDF intelligence officer, predicted that the violence will likely grow worse in the coming year. Yoni Ben Menachem explains the Islamic Republic’s role in fueling this wave of terrorism:

The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials. The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Qassem Suleimani—the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S.—of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank