Joe Biden’s victory has raised new fears of war with Iran, but there is a way for him to ease tensions: Let the regime know, without precarious conditions, that America will stand with its allies, reject appeasement – and never return to the failed Obama-era nuke deal.
Iran triggered some fear when a UN nuclear watchdog confirmed that Tehran has begun operating underground centrifuges and has enriched and stored uranium in violation of the 2015 agreement.
An Iranian-backed group also fired rockets at the US embassy in Iraq. And Iranian officials warned Arab neighbors that President Trump would soon be gone and that they would no longer be able to “buy security.”
As the Obama-Biden people turned a blind eye to Iran’s malice to reach a nuclear deal, the regime may believe that Biden’s victory means it can once again get away with such warfare again – and perhaps even blackmail concessions in the process.
Iran’s neighbors are concerned: Saudi Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud warned Biden not to “repeat the mistakes of the first agreement.” Officials from Bahrain and Israel also sounded the alarm.
Who can blame them? The years since the agreement was signed proved that Tehran will not change: despite the fact that sanctions have been lifted, billions harvested and even given the green light to possible nuclear weapons, it nevertheless built up its missile arsenal and triggered violence in Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia -Arabia, Iraq, Israel and elsewhere.
The news also broke last week that Iran had given a safe haven to Al Qaeda’s No. 2, Abu Muhammad al-Masri – until August, when Israel and the United States worked together to take him out. Why, Israeli ambassador Michael Oren rightly asks, would America agree to a deal that “gives tens of billions of dollars to those who house the killers of 3,000 Americans” on 9/11?
The Obama administration sought to deter Israel from even covert action against the Iranian threat. Team Trump helped activate it. What does Biden choose?
Fears of escalating hostility and increased nuclear development may also be of concern to Trump, who reportedly sought opportunities to stop Iran. Prez probably had the right to reject a military strike, but Biden can do very well by telling the mullahs: He does not want to be a patsy. And a change in the White House will not weaken America’s determination.