Opinion: Biden policy on Iran is an utter mess

Photo/Arash Khamooshi/The New York Times / A man flies the Palestinian flag amid celebrations of support in Tehran, Iran, for the Hamas attacks on Israel, on Oct. 7, 2023. Many of the roughly 1,500 American and Western economic sanctions on Iran were intended to halt its support of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Photo/Arash Khamooshi/The New York Times / A man flies the Palestinian flag amid celebrations of support in Tehran, Iran, for the Hamas attacks on Israel, on Oct. 7, 2023. Many of the roughly 1,500 American and Western economic sanctions on Iran were intended to halt its support of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Iran is getting richer and increasingly dangerous during the Biden presidency. This has enabled the country to more aggressively arm its Middle East terrorist proxies who seek to destroy Israel.

The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp recently blustered that Israel would face more attacks like the atrocities of Oct. 7. "Just as the al-Aqsa Storm came from a place the enemy did not calculate," he said, "they must wait for other storms that will reach them from where they do not figure out."

At the same time, an Iranian military commander has told Hamas that his country will not allow Israel to "reach its dirty goals" of defeating Hamas, The Associated Press reported recently. That certainly sounds like a threat of escalation.

It's fair to ask how much the White House's appeasement of Iran has endangered the region and emboldened bad actors who openly admit their goal of wiping Israel off the map.

According to The Washington Post, the International Monetary Fund estimates that Iran's foreign currency reserves have jumped 50% in the past two years. Much of this is oil money. The Trump administration put harsh oil sanctions on Iran. President Joe Biden relaxed them once he took office, leading to an increase in exports, primarily to China. The Iranian government and the terrorists of Hamas and Hezbollah have been the beneficiaries.

The Biden administration recently announced it would now "enforce oil sanctions against Iran amid the renewed conflict in the Middle East" in an effort to financially squeeze the country, Reuters reported. Fair enough, but that doesn't undo 30 months of ignoring the problem.

In fact, Iran of late has increased oil production at a rate higher than the United States, The Wall Street Journal noted last month, making the country's primary resource even more valuable in the world market. Biden has been openly hostile to domestic energy producers in an effort to satisfy green extremists. As gasoline prices soared above $5 a gallon, he even asked our enemies — including Iran — to ramp up production rather than turn loose America's own producers.

All of this has been a boon for the mullahs in Tehran as they bankroll Israel's enemies.

In September, the Biden administration even agreed to release $6 billion in cash to Iran as part of a prisoner exchange deal. The windfall was supposed to be for "humanitarian" purposes, but money is fungible, and the move would have made it easier for Iran to fund terror. The White House wisely put a freeze on the funds shortly after the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, but the initial decision demonstrated a woeful lack of judgment.

Likewise for the administration's decision to re-issue a sanctions waiver that allows Iran access to another $10 billion generated by the nation's electricity shipments to Iraq. Again, despite the "humanitarian" intent, the money will make it easier for Iran to arm and support terrorists. "Iran sends $700 million to Hezbollah and at least $100 million to Palestinian terrorists annually," according to the Journal. Reuters reports that Iran sent $300 million to Hamas last year.

Against this backdrop, one thing remains clear. American efforts to accommodate Iran — dating back to the Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice president — have made the world a more dangerous place.

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