Ludicrous nuclear control negotiations ground to a halt March 11, when Russia said any deal must insure no U.S. sanctions against Putin and his gang in Iran.
This was a test of how much humiliation the Joe Biden administration would swallow. Our state department luckily saved face, when negotiators from France, Germany and the UK took the lead and said that Russia’s demands posed a serious complication.
Here’s a picture of how weak our foreign policy has become.
China, Russia, France, Germany, the EU, UK and Iran sit in a snazzy room to decide what concessions and how much money the United States will pay the Mullahs to not build an atomic bomb.
Down the hall in another, smaller room, is the American team, unaware of what is happening in the fancy room, where the big boys play.
The door opens and it’s a Russian from their diplomatic corps. He’s been selected as a representative of the nearby nuke negotiators to tell the Americans what Iran says they want to get an agreement.
Iran set up this humble pie, when it told the U.S. at the beginning of talks, that they had to stay in another room. We agreed like little children, afraid of offending a crazy uncle.
This has been going on for months. Most reports indicate that whatever Iran wants, Iran gets from the American team, including billions of dollars in assets held in the U.S.
While it’s easy to see why Russia is doing everything to help Iran, China is gaining even more from its relationship with the Islamic Republic.
Last month, ignoring sanctions, China began importing one million barrels of oil each day from Iran.
How can we deal with Russia’s messengers, when that country is at war with Ukraine and sanctioned by us?
Secretary of State Tony Blinken (Trilateral Commission darling) answered along the lines of we can “walk and chew gum.” If anyone else catered to Russia at this time, they would be branded traitor, but instead, Blinken will probably win the John Kerry award for double-think.
Russia’s plan is when Iran sanctions are lifted, that country will be a clearing house for Putin to use their banking system, as well as a pipeline for oil and other trade.
Gabriel Noronha, who served for two years in former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Iran Action Group, said “the last thing the world needs is another nuclear-armed dictatorship flush with cash and attacking its neighbors.”
Anyone seeking to gauge the imminent outcome of the international talks over Iran’s nuclear program being held in Vienna should take a look at reports from late January that three top U.S. diplomats had quit—largely in protest over the direction set by U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley, who serves as the U.S. government’s chief negotiator.
Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov, who led negotiations on behalf of Russia, has crowed that “Iran got much more than it could expect. Much more,” and bragged about how Russia teamed up with China and Iran to get dozens of wins over the United States and European negotiating positions.
Meanwhile, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is more than 15 times the limit set out in the 2015 accord, the The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported last week.
Noronha said the United States has “promised to lift sanctions on some of the regime’s worst terrorists and torturers, including leading officials who developed Iran’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) infrastructure.”
Iran will receive fewer limitations than those imposed under the JCPOA, and the restrictions on its nuclear program will expire six years sooner than under the terms of the old deal. And that’s just the beginning, Noronha explained.
All meaningful restrictions will expire over the next nine years. Iran will not make any concessions on its ballistic missile activity, its terrorist activity, its support for proxy groups, or its hostage-taking from the United States and other countries. But it will get money – lots of it.
Iran is set to get access to a massive windfall of cash: My latest estimate (derived from figures declassified during my tenure at the State Department) is $90 billion in access to foreign exchange reserves, and then a further $50-$55 billion in extra revenue each year from higher oil and petrochemical exports, with no restrictions on how or where the money can be spent.
Another part of the proposed deal would pay for four American hostages held by Iran, Noronha explained:
Personally, the most troubling transfer of funds will be the $7 billion ransom payment the United States is preparing to pay for the release of four Americans from an Iranian jail.
Now, let me be clear: I would be extremely glad to bring these Americans back home safely as quickly as possible. They are innocent victims who, along with their families, have suffered unjustly for far too long.
But make no mistake: Biden’s payment will only supercharge Iran’s hostage-taking industry.
President Barack Obama paid Iran $1.7 billion for four Americans in 2016 – including $400 million in cash).
Noronha said Iranian clerics and generals “bragged about it for years—and some suggested that taking hostages could henceforth serve as a sound method for balancing Iran’s budget.”