Joe Biden’s victory has touched off new fears of war with Iran, yet there’s a way for him to tamp down tensions: Let the regime know, in no uncertain terms, that America will stand with its allies, reject appeasement — and never return to that failed Obama-era nuke deal.
Iran triggered some of the fears when a UN nuclear watchdog confirmed that Tehran has begun operating underground centrifuges and has enriched and stockpiled uranium in violation of that 2015 deal.
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 they’d no longer be able to “buy security.”
Since the Obama-Biden folks turned a blind eye to Iran’s evil to reach the nuke deal, the regime may think Biden’s victory means it can again get away with such belligerence again — and perhaps even extort concessions in the process.
Iran’s neighbors are worried: Saudi Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud warned Biden not to “repeat the mistakes of the first deal.” Officials from Bahrain and Israel also sounded alarms.
Who can blame them? The years since the deal was signed proved Tehran won’t change: Despite having sanctions lifted, reaping billions and even, in effect, getting a green light on eventual nukes, it nonetheless built up its missile arsenal and sparked violence in Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and elsewhere.
News also broke last week that Iran had been giving safe refuge 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 rejoin a deal that “gives tens of billions of dollars to those who harbor the murderers of 3,000 Americans” on 9/11?
The Obama administration tried to discourage Israel from even covert action against the Iranian menace. Team Trump helped enable it. What will Biden choose?
Fear of escalating hostility and ramped up nuke development may also be worrying Trump, who reportedly sought options to stop Iran. The prez was probably right to reject a military strike, but Biden can do much good by letting the mullahs know: He won’t be a patsy. And a change in the White House won’t weaken America’s resolve.
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