Why the Biden Administration Downplays Iran’s Aggression https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/politics-current-affairs/2022/05/why-the-biden-administration-downplays-irans-aggression/

May 12, 2022 | Michael Doran
About the author: Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East (2016), is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former senior director of the National Security Council. He tweets @doranimated.

Over the past six months, Michael Doran writes, Iranian operatives have “actively pursued plans to assassinate the former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, the former Iran envoy Brian Hook, and the former national security advisor John Bolton.” When, in the course of nuclear negotiations in Vienna, the Biden team asked Iranian diplomats to end these attempts, they refused. Tehran has also directly attacked American forces in Syria, and launched multiple attacks on American allies, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Doran seeks to explain why the Biden administration has consistently played down these and other overt provocations.

The obvious answer is that the White House does not want to do anything to slow down or derail its effort to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is formally known. The Biden administration operates within the lines that President Obama drew when he first sold the Iran deal. “There really are only two alternatives here: either Iran getting a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through negotiation,” Obama said. “Or it is resolved through force, through war.”

But even the most cursory examination of the deal reveals that it resolves nothing. On the contrary, it permits Tehran to keep everything it needs to build a nuclear bomb, even including, for example, the secure bunker dug deep under a mountain near Fordow. Designed to shield Iran’s uranium-enrichment facilities from attack, Fordow’s sole purpose is military in nature. We know this with certainty thanks to the nuclear archive that the Israelis captured in a Tehran warehouse in 2018. What’s more, the deal permits Tehran to make advances in its weapons program—by, for example, developing advanced centrifuges—even while its nuclear activities are still formally under international restrictions.

The upshot is this: by 2031, under the terms of this supposedly excellent deal, Iran will have a major, unfettered nuclear-weapons program. . . . So again, we must ask: why? Why is America making moves that seem nothing less than appeasement? What makes the Biden team so eager to cut a deal that guarantees a nuclear Iran? Why has the White House placed Moscow in the catbird seat in these negotiations? Why is it treating China as a key partner in the deal, even as China openly proclaims its intention to overturn the American-led world order? And why has Biden entirely excluded traditional allies, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, from the negotiations?

Read more on Common Sense: https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/the-doctrine-of-american-unexceptionalism?s=r

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