When a member of Congress says that a terror-sponsoring nation is “on the eve of getting a nuclear weapon,” it’s probably best to pay attention.
When that congressman is also a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was recently briefed by senior members of the Biden administration, not paying attention starts to look like sticking one’s head in the sand.
It’s time to listen up.
Two weeks ago, “senior U.S. officials” held a classified briefing for Rep. Darrell Issa and other members of the committee, telling them that prospects for a deal with Iran regarding its nuclear program have all but died, according to an exclusive report from the Washington Free Beacon.
“Two weeks ago, they thought they had a deal, and now they know they don’t have a deal, and are stymied about how they get to a deal because they’ve negotiated all there was to negotiate, and, at the end of the day, Iran doesn’t want the deal that was negotiated,” Issa told the Free Beacon, which said other sources had confirmed Issa’s information.
“They’re basically on the eve of getting a nuclear weapon and don’t want to be talked out of it,” he said.
That’s concerning, but unfortunately not surprising. When he refused to “re-certify” Iran’s compliance with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official designation of the 2105 deal then-President Barack Obama reached with Iran and several other countries), former President Donald Trump said, “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” according to CBS News.
This is one of those things I wish Trump had been wrong about.
At the time, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed that no one nation could revoke the agreement, according to the U.K. Independent.
Rouhani then went on to revoke portions of it himself a couple of years later, of course. But that was OK because … medicine, or something.
“We felt that the nuclear deal needs a surgery and the painkiller pills of the last year have been ineffective,” Rouhani said in May 2019, according to CBS News. “This surgery is for saving the deal, not destroying it.”
Later that year, Iran announced that it was going to start ignoring the limits set by the JCPOA on uranium enrichment, bringing the element’s purity level well above what is needed to power civilian reactors and thereby threatening to create nuclear weapons, according to CNN.
But hey, what’s the worry, right? Just because a sovereign nation that the State Department has ranked a “Tier 3” in human trafficking and that has been officially designated a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” for nearly 40 years is “on the eve” of obtaining one of the most dangerous devices ever created?
Surely, Biden’s State Department must have some reassuring words, right? Something that says our concerns are overblown?
Or maybe not.
“This is unfortunately just another instance of Iran’s flagrant disregard for not only the lives of their own people but also for their neighbors and for what are core principles at the crux of the UN Charter: sovereignty, territorial integrity,” department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday at a media briefing, describing recent Iranian drone and missile attacks against Kurds in Iraq.
I don’t know about you, but a government with “flagrant disregard” for life and national sovereignty isn’t one I want handling nukes.
So now what?
“They ran out of new things to talk about and finally got to a point where it’s time to accept it,” Issa told the Free Beacon. “I believe [Iran] never negotiated in good faith, which means there’s really no reason to go back to them until there’s a huge change that shows why negotiations would be different.”
(The Western Journal has reached out to Rep. Issa’s office but did not immediately receive a response.)
Even the left-leaners at Foreign Affairs think that the U.S. may need to find a way to frighten Iran back to the negotiating table before further talks can be effective.
“Ironically, it seems, restoring Iran’s fear of the United States may be the only way to avoid a war, limit Iranian threats in the region, and produce an acceptable diplomatic outcome on the character of the Iranian nuclear program,” wrote former U.S. envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross in July.
That, of course, raises the question: Does the Biden administration have what it takes to “restore Iran’s fear of the United States”?
Sadly, I think we all know the answer to that.
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