Will Biden Trigger War in the Middle East?

 

When President Trump pulled us out of the Iranian deal, also known as the JCPOA, it was one of the most sensible and appropriate actions of his Presidency. The deal, which was supposed to “slow” the Iranian development of a nuclear weapon, was a sham from the start: they refused to adhere to certain inspection guidelines from the beginning, then violated others as time passed; the IAEA figuratively and repeatedly threw up its hands in frustration. When we pulled out, the Iranians used our lack of support as a further excuse to continue to ignore the limitations of the agreement.

Now with the opportunity to manipulate the latest version of an Obama administration (also to be known as the Biden administration), the Iranians know that Biden has stated he will sign on again to the agreement. Biden’s goal is not only foolish but meaningless, since the Iranians have significantly progressed in their nuclear bomb development. What in the world will our re-engaging provide? Here are some of Biden’s ideas about re-joining the JCPOA:

In an op-ed in September, Biden said as president he would ‘make an unshakable commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.’ He argued the best way to achieve that was for the U.S. to re-enter the deal.

‘I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations,’ Biden wrote.

Even if Biden and Rouhani are looking to strike an agreement, arriving at a formula that would allow the U.S. to re-enter the deal, and for Iran to unwind its nuclear activities, will not be easy.

Rather than removing sanctions all at once or Iran returning immediately to full compliance, a more likely scenario could see an incremental approach over a period of three or four months, said former U.S. officials and European diplomats. A first step could have Iran freeze its nuclear work, in return for some level of sanctions relief. Further steps could see Iran eventually return to compliance and all the nuclear-related sanctions lifted.

Anyone who believes that Iran will keep its end of any bargain is delusional.

If Biden decides to re-up with the JCPOA, there will be several losers. The Arab countries continue to develop relationships with each other at several economic and diplomatic levels, and with Israel as well, which signals efforts to bring peace to the Middle East; recognizing Iran will likely disrupt these historic efforts; Joe Biden will be empowering the Iranians, who are enemies with most of the countries in the region. The Iranians will also likely see sanctions removed that have been devastating to their economy, which will enable them to thrive and threaten the rest of the Middle East. The Palestinians will see the recognition of Iran as a win for their goals (which are almost impossible to determine). Biden taking these actions will not only de-stabilize that part of the world, but he will be fueling the threat of a serious war.

The tragedy and foolishness of these potential actions by Biden were on full display in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal written by Alireza Miryousefi, Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, after their chief scientist heading nuclear weapon development was killed. The chutzpah of Miryousefi, whose country represents one of the primary supporters of terrorism in the world, was on display. In part, here is what he said in response to an earlier editorial:

Your editorial “Biden, Iran and the Bomb” (Nov. 28) is shameful in its inhumanity. The unjustifiable support for a brutal assassination of a prominent scientist does nothing more than encourage a few criminals, such as the Israeli regime and its allies, to commit more assassinations. The assassination of an official of a U.N. member state in its territory is a dangerous game, opening a Pandora’s box; one whose consequences only reckless, apocalyptic people would ignore. Undoubtedly, the Israeli regime’s involvement in this criminal act is designed to further disrupt the turbulent situation in the region and destroy the path for diplomacy. . .

Considering the duplicity of the Iranians regarding the JCPOA; considering the hundreds of thousands of deaths that have been funded by the Iranian regime; and considering the constant threat to the existence of Israel; I found his argument unpersuasive.

How about you?

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Trump has done more for Mideast peace than any US President I can think of. Dubai/Bahrain/UAE-Israel is a HUGE deal. The most-active conflicts have simmered down quite a bit.

    Iran wants to build nukes. Killing the key people heading it is the most humane way of dealing with the challenge – much better than just about every military option I can think of (I still advocate arming the Iranian people through drops of small arms).

    Biden wants to go back to the standard State Department hatred of Israel. That way leads to war.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    iWe (View Comment):

    Trump has done more for Mideast peace than any US President I can think of. Dubai/Bahrain/UAE-Israel is a HUGE deal. The most-active conflicts have simmered down quite a bit.

    Iran wants to build nukes. Killing the key people heading it is the most humane way of dealing with the challenge – much better than just about every military option I can think of (I still advocate arming the Iranian people through drops of small arms).

    Biden wants to go back to the standard State Department hatred of Israel. That way leads to war.

    I only touched on the Palestinians, but I’m sure they’ll be demanding more than ever with Biden in office. I see no positive outcomes here. Thanks, @iwe.

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Constant Sorrow Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Constant Sorrow
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Susan Quinn:

    Considering the duplicity of the Iranians regarding the JCPOA; considering the hundreds of thousands of deaths that have been funded by the Iranian regime; and considering the constant threat to the existence of Israel; I found his argument unpersuasive.

    How about you?

    I want to know why The Wall Street Journal gave this terrorist regime a platform to spew out their propaganda.

    • #3
  4. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Appeasement has never stopped a war but it often hastens one.

    • #4
  5. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Already, Saudi Arabia pulled back on a peace treaty with Israel as a result of the US election. 

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    Considering the duplicity of the Iranians regarding the JCPOA; considering the hundreds of thousands of deaths that have been funded by the Iranian regime; and considering the constant threat to the existence of Israel; I found his argument unpersuasive.

    How about you?

    I want to know why The Wall Street Journal gave this terrorist regime a platform to spew out their propaganda.

    Drew, I would like to think that anyone with a brain would realize from the editorial what a liar the man is and how bizarre his accusations are. For those not intimately familiar with the situation, I would hope they would say, “Are you kidding?”–just like you and I would. If there is any doubt, it shows Iran’s true colors. 

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    iWe (View Comment):

    Already, Saudi Arabia pulled back on a peace treaty with Israel as a result of the US election.

    I think we will see more ambivalence to deals that are in process. Just watch.

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Nothing that a few pallets of US cash can’t paper over. Fire up a C-130.

    Obama diplomacy is back, baby. God help us.

    • #8
  9. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Susan Quinn:

    I found his argument unpersuasive.

    How about you?

    Suzy,

    His argument is as fraudulent as his vote totals. He is a usurper President who will do immense damage before he is through. Kamala “California Airhead” Harris is totally unproven and likely to be even a greater disaster. When you have candidates this idiotic, it helps to have a massive fraudulent voting scheme to crowbar them into office.

    Just another day on the third planet from the sun.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    I found his argument unpersuasive.

    How about you?

    Suzy,

    His argument is as fraudulent as his vote totals. He is a usurper President who will do immense damage before he is through. Kamala “California Airhead” Harris is totally unproven and likely to be even a greater disaster. When you have candidates this idiotic, it helps to have a massive fraudulent voting scheme to crowbar them into office.

    Just another day on the third planet from the sun.

    Regards,

    Jim

    We are in full agreement, although I like your description better than mine, Jim!

    • #10
  11. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    ‘Elections have consequences’…so does election fraud.

    It’s an awful shame, things in Mideast really seemed to be trending the right way.

    • #11
  12. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    iWe (View Comment):

    Already, Saudi Arabia pulled back on a peace treaty with Israel as a result of the US election.

    A big part of the deals is knowing that America will be keeping Iran in check. You don’t have that assurance with Biden.

    • #12
  13. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    In so many ways a Biden Presidency is shameful. But with regards to foreign policy, it is also very dangerous. Trump had made huge progress in the Middle East mainly by not tiptoeing around the tulips. In his first few months, he travelled with Melania and Ivanka in his entourage to Saudi Arabia for a meeting of all the Arab kingmakers and kings. I was so proud to see those two beautiful Western–American– women walk down the ramp from Airforce One with no head covers like the American women they are. The Trump family dealt eye to eye in a “this is who we are, we respect you and you must respect us” honesty that won over many Arabs. He also dealt with the Palestinians as adults. He told them in no uncertain terms if you want to have your own country, behave as though you deserve it. Until then we have serious people that we must work with, and you aren’t them. Ignoring the Palestinians allowed for the Mid-East breakthrough. Biden will return to the failed policies of the previous 50 years. Disgusting.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    cdor (View Comment):

    In so many ways a Biden Presidency is shameful. But with regards to foreign policy, it is also very dangerous. Trump had made huge progress in the Middle East mainly by not tiptoeing around the tulips. In his first few months, he travelled with Melania and Ivanka in his entourage to Saudi Arabia for a meeting of all the Arab kingmakers and kings. I was so proud to see those two beautiful Western–American– women walk down the ramp from Airforce One with no head covers like the American women they are. The Trump family dealt eye to eye in a “this is who we are, we respect you and you must respect us” honesty that won over many Arabs. He also dealt with the Palestinians as adults. He told them in no uncertain terms if you want to have your own country, behave as though you deserve it. Until then we have serious people that we must work with, and you aren’t them. Ignoring the Palestinians allowed for the Mid-East breakthrough. Biden will return to the failed policies of the previous 50 years. Disgusting.

    Very well said, @cdor! Yes, I especially like your reminder of the Trump women–they did set the tone, didn’t they? Thanks.

    • #14
  15. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    The neocon “Republicans” in the foreign policy/defense establishment who have backed Biden must be delighted. They’ve been itching for a war with Iran since the early 2000s right after their Iraq disaster. Blinken and Biden fit right in with them. Always wrong. Always bloody. Always wasting trillions.

     

    • #15
  16. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Already, Saudi Arabia pulled back on a peace treaty with Israel as a result of the US election.

    A big part of the deals is knowing that America will be keeping Iran in check. You don’t have that assurance with Biden.

    Vance,

    Imagine how Hong Kong, the Uyghurs, and Taiwan are looking forward to a Biden administration that is already compromised by the CCP. For that matter, the bellicose Marxist bastards are openly threatening Australia. This will be a green light for Chinese aggression in the whole region.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #16
  17. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Good article on Biden’s Iran policy by one of my favorite journalists, Lee Smith:

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/israel-middle-east/articles/iran-getting-the-bomb

    He writes that on Middle East policy, it will be Obama calling the shots.

    Biden’s prospective Middle East team shows very clearly that Obama will be calling the shots. Reportedly in line for a top job is Obama’s Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who spent the last four years threatening America’s key regional ally that it better not get too comfortable with Trump—or else the next Democratic administration would punish them. Rob Malley is also likely to be a major presence. Obama’s key point man on the Middle East recently lamented that the legacy of his boss “was premised on his being succeeded by someone like him, maybe a Hillary Clinton, but certainly not a Donald Trump.” The “experiment that got suspended halfway through,” as Malley put it, can now be completed under the protective cover of a “moderate” Biden administration.

    Lee Smith has a talent for putting pieces of a puzzle together to see big picture, which makes this prediction sound prescient:

    What Obama subsequently learned about the JCPOA was that giving Iran the bomb at some indefinite time after he left office was a mistake, because such pledges are vulnerable to the vagaries of the American political system, which never liked the deal in the first place. That’s why Biden, or Kamala Harris if she winds up with the reins sooner than anticipated, seems unlikely to kick the nuclear can down the road again in the pursuit of a new and improved Iran deal 2.0. Instead, they will move to quickly lift sanctions, which will remove any incentive for Iran to make a deal—and help it get the bomb as fast as possible.

    Israel and any of its allies once Iran gets a nuke….

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mim526 (View Comment):

    Good article on Biden’s Iran policy by one of my favorite journalists, Lee Smith:

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/israel-middle-east/articles/iran-getting-the-bomb

    He writes that on Middle East policy, it will be Obama calling the shots.

    Biden’s prospective Middle East team shows very clearly that Obama will be calling the shots. Reportedly in line for a top job is Obama’s Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who spent the last four years threatening America’s key regional ally that it better not get too comfortable with Trump—or else the next Democratic administration would punish them. Rob Malley is also likely to be a major presence. Obama’s key point man on the Middle East recently lamented that the legacy of his boss “was premised on his being succeeded by someone like him, maybe a Hillary Clinton, but certainly not a Donald Trump.” The “experiment that got suspended halfway through,” as Malley put it, can now be completed under the protective cover of a “moderate” Biden administration.

    Lee Smith has a talent for putting pieces of a puzzle together to see big picture, which makes this prediction sound prescient:

    What Obama subsequently learned about the JCPOA was that giving Iran the bomb at some indefinite time after he left office was a mistake, because such pledges are vulnerable to the vagaries of the American political system, which never liked the deal in the first place. That’s why Biden, or Kamala Harris if she winds up with the reins sooner than anticipated, seems unlikely to kick the nuclear can down the road again in the pursuit of a new and improved Iran deal 2.0. Instead, they will move to quickly lift sanctions, which will remove any incentive for Iran to make a deal—and help it get the bomb as fast as possible.

     

    Sometimes Lee Smith can be so accurate that it’s traumatizing! Yes, he’s got it right; that is probably what will happen, with Biden’s excuse that Iran won’t agree to the rules. Thanks, @mim526.

    • #18
  19. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Re-entering the Iran deal will no doubt require huge concessions by the mullahs as punishment for Trump canceling it. The Iran deal was designed to allow Iran to get the bomb, something they are going to do, deal or no deal. This is why Israel is bumping off their nuclear scientists (Aside: Why are we training them? How many nuclear engineering students in the US are from Iran or other Middle Eastern countries?)

    • #19
  20. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Stad (View Comment):
    (Aside: Why are we training them? How many nuclear engineering students in the US are from Iran or other Middle Eastern countries?)

    Money. Universities are greedy.

    • #20
  21. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    (Aside: Why are we training them? How many nuclear engineering students in the US are from Iran or other Middle Eastern countries?)

    Money. Universities are greedy.

    We can remove that greed, but you know Biden won’t prohibit Iranian students from coming here to study all things nuclear.

    But yes, universities love foreign and out-of-state students . . .

    • #21
  22. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    “Will Biden Trigger War in the Middle East?”

    Yes.

    But at least he’s not mean when he tweets. So, there is that.

    • #22
  23. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    A lot of the Biden foreign policy team looks like the State Department under Hillary only worse. Part of Hillary’s election platform was a no-fly zone over Syria. Obama’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before Congress that you could not have a no-fly zone without war with Syria and Russia. That policy thinking has bipartisan Deep State support.

    China would benefit from a disrupted Middle East; it would tie up US assets and give China a freer hand with Belt and Road and with Taiwan. China’s need for Persian Gulf oil is more a medium to long term thing.

    • #23
  24. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    This is exactly what the RINO’s want. Never let them forget that they asked for this.

    • #24
  25. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    I only touched on the Palestinians, but I’m sure they’ll be demanding more than ever with Biden in office. I see no positive outcomes here. Thanks, @iwe.

    Let’s just say, with Biden in office, I see no positive outcomes.

    • #25
  26. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    WI Con (View Comment):

    ‘Elections have consequences’…so does election fraud.

    It’s an awful shame, things in Mideast really seemed to be trending the right way.

    That was one of my first thoughts after the election was snatched away from Trump. For the first time in my lifetime, it looked like there could be a meaningful peace in the Mid East, one that didn’t require the Palestinians or Iran to honor any agreement. I have no faith whatsoever in either Biden or Harris nor any of the cronies they are putting in place. The world will suffer.

    • #26
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Constant Sorrow Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Constant Sorrow
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    That was one of my first thoughts after the election was snatched away from Trump. For the first time in my lifetime, it looked like there could be a meaningful peace in the Mid East, one that didn’t require the Palestinians or Iran to honor any agreement. I have no faith whatsoever in either Biden or Harris nor any of the cronies they are putting in place. The world will suffer.

    My first thought, too. I wasn’t so much concerned about domestic policy under Biden, but seriously worried about foreign policy.

    • #27
  28. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    So a Biden Administration wants Iran to have nuclear weapons and also wants to go to war with Iran?

    • #28
  29. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    My first thought, too. I wasn’t so much concerned about domestic policy under Biden, but seriously worried about foreign policy.

    I think you are on to something here. Without control of the Senate, Supreme’s, and smaller Dem control of Congress, I don’t think there is much he can get done domestically. However, I do not doubt the Democrats won’t try their damn-est. Let’s face it, the 2022 and 2024 election cycles started on 03 Nov 2020, and this is going to help keep the Democrats tied down trying to preserve their power bases. In the resent past a foreign war always kept the American populace mind off of domestic issues, and in the short term, bump up approval ratings. But I’m not so sure the voting public would be so incline to support another “no end war for no particular cause.” But then again 80 million people voted for a man who publicly stated he was going to raise their taxes and decrease their incomes.

    • #29
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Zafar (View Comment):

    So a Biden Administration wants Iran to have nuclear weapons and also wants to go to war with Iran?

    I didn’t say that. But a war may break out if the Arabs see us working with the Iranians. 

    • #30