With global efforts underway to penalize Russia for invading Ukraine, it’s uncanny that the only player preventing the US-led P5+1 countries from inking their disastrous nuclear pact with Iran is President Vladimir Putin.
But even his demand that Tehran be exempt from sanctions on Moscow isn’t enough for Washington to cancel the whole charade in Vienna.
That’s just how desperate the administration of President Joe Biden is to have the revamped version of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed, sealed and delivered on a silver platter to the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism.
Yes, this is how bent America is on giving the mullahs multi-billions of dollars, while favorably weighing the reversal of former president Donald Trump’s decision to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
To justify the insanity, the current administration, like that of former president Barack Obama from which it was cloned, pretends that appeasing the ayatollahs and President Ebrahim (“the butcher”) Raisi will enhance regional stability and security by preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear bombs. In the first place, this is false.
In the second, it doesn’t take into account the other kinds of weapons in Tehran’s vast arsenal, such as the more than 3,000 ballistic missiles that outgoing US Central Command head Gen. Kenneth McKenzie bemoaned on Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Many of these projectiles, according to McKenzie, have the range to reach Israel.
ADDING IRONY to injury, Team Biden is pressuring Israel to be more forceful in its stand against Russia.
“Among other things, you [Israelis] don’t want to become the last haven for dirty money that’s fueling Putin’s wars,” US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told Channel 12 last Friday.
Her comment came less than a week after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Putin at the Kremlin. Though his attempt to broker a truce between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was misguided for a host of reasons, Israel’s need to preserve its “deconfliction mechanism” with Russia in Syria remains crucial.
Maybe Nuland didn’t get the memo. Or perhaps she conveniently omitted the part about Bennett’s not taking any steps without US approval.
If there was any question as to whether her office was kept in the dark about Bennett’s March 5 trip to Moscow, US Ambassador Thomas Nides put it to rest on Tuesday.
In a Zoom interview with the far-left NGO Americans for Peace Now (APN), Nides said, “We’re in hourly contact with the Israelis… They have done everything we’ve asked them to do. All the communications have been clear. The prime minister has not made a move without talking to the White House.”
Unfortunately for Israel, the arrangement isn’t mutual. Despite the contents of the new JCPOA – which former State Department special adviser for Iran Gabriel Noronha claims is “much, much worse than Obama’s Iran deal” – the Biden administration is completely ignoring the existential peril to Israel that it presents.
INSTEAD, THE honchos in DC are only willing to take a time-out from their hysteria over Russia to express displeasure with a lack of Israeli progress on the two-state-solution front. Nides was plain about this with his co-hosts, APN president and CEO Hadar Susskind and American Federation of Teachers and APN board member Randi Weingarten.
But first he made sure to acknowledge that he’s a “fan” of APN’s work.
“At the end of the day, we all care about the same thing,” he stated, “which is to make this place [Israel] a safer place, a more equitable place.”
To fend off suggestions of a slant in any direction, he initially announced that he doesn’t “really have an ideology.” Later in the conversation, he did an about-face and referred to himself as “Center-Left or Left generally,” to show magnanimity in dealing with Bennett, whom he described as “Center-Right.”
This followed an account of his history as a “Jewish kid who grew up in Minnesota... a Reform Jew [whose] parents lit candles on Friday nights.”
He went on, “I was bar-mitzvahed. We went to temple a couple times a year, for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I’m not proud of that; I’m just being honest. But I grew up as a Jew, meaning that I cared deeply about the culture of the place [Israel], about the humanity of the place, about why I am a Jew. It’s not about the religious part of [being a] Jew; it’s about who I am in my soul.”
Since arriving in Washington, he recounted, he’s been involved in “issues surrounding Israel, the security situation of Israel, the plight of the Palestinians and the desire of the Palestinians to have the same rights and securities as the Israelis did.”
Which is precisely why he was a perfect pick for the likes of Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken – not to mention Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley, a “conflict resolution” expert who advocates engagement with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Nides also pointed to his “North Star,” the goal of “strengthening a democratic Jewish state.” To do that, however, “we must have a two-state solution,” he said. “If we lose sight of a two-state solution… it is not good for the Palestinians; it’s certainly not good for Israel [or] for the Jews. It’s not good for anyone.”
Leaving Iran out of the equation, Nides emphasized that he doesn’t “do anything that will compromise Israel’s security.” It was almost as amusing as his denial of ideology. But his next remark wasn’t the least bit funny.
“The idea of settlement growth infuriates me,” he huffed. “We can’t do stupid things that impede a two-state solution... We can’t have the Israelis doing settlement growth, in east Jerusalem or the West Bank. Listen, I can’t stop everything. Just so we’re clear. And I have to pick my battles. [The advancement of construction within the municipal boundary of Ma’aleh Adumim] E-1 was a disaster… it’s a very important area, which, if done, could cut off any possibility of a capital for the Palestinians.”
FOR A modicum of balance, which he promptly retracted, Nides mentioned the “pay-for-slay” policy promoted and funded “to every last penny” by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
“The Palestinians aren’t perfect either,” he acknowledged. “These martyr payments – you know, we can debate and talk about it – [have] caused an enormous amount of problems… because it gives the haters [who say], ‘Well, we can’t do this [or that with the Palestinians], because they’re paying for people who kill Jews’ an excuse. Again, it’s more complicated than that, but I just want to make clear that not everyone is perfect. We have to create the foundation for a two-state solution.”
So, in Nides’s view, the trouble with incentivizing terrorism by providing hefty stipends to Jew-murderers and their families is an “excuse” used by Israelis who oppose a “two-state solution” with an entity that, like Iran, makes no bones about its inherent and active aggression against the Jewish state.
Biden and Blinken would be so proud of his performance. But they’re busy at the moment trying to resolve the Russia issue that’s putting their beloved capitulation treaty at risk.
This is why they downplayed the Iranian missile barrage on Iraq’s northern Kurdish regional capital of Erbil. Though Tehran took credit for targeting a US military base and consulate – as well as falsely claiming that it aimed at secret Mossad facilities – Washington said it had “no indications the attack was directed at the United States.”
STATE DEPARTMENT spokesman Ned Price hinted the following day that neither this nor anything else would stop America from pursuing a deal.
“These are complex negotiations,” he told reporters on Monday. “We are at what could amount to something close to the finish line, but… there are a few outstanding issues, and when you… near the finish line, the issues that are outstanding are, by definition, going to be the hardest issues there are… we should have a better sense in the near future whether there is a path forward for these specific talks.”
He concluded by stressing, “We continue to believe that the JCPOA, a mutual return to compliance with it, remains the best vehicle to achieve our policy objectives.”
It is precisely these “policy objectives” that are making America weak again and endangering the State of Israel. The only silver lining in an otherwise dire situation is the Russian wrench thrown into the proceedings. But leave it to Biden’s boys and girls to figure out a way around the nuclear fission.