President Joe Biden made it clear early in his administration that one of his foreign policy priorities was re-entering the suicidal Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal. As of yet, that hasn’t panned out.
The Times of Israel reported earlier this week that, amid stalled negotiations between Iran and the rest of the JCPOA signatories in Vienna, the Biden administration had informed Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid there wouldn’t be a deal in the foreseeable future.
The dealbreaker, apparently, was Iran’s desire to halt International Atomic Energy Agency inspections, which is enough of a sign the world is still dealing with a country not acting in good faith that even Biden’s State Department thought it was a bridge too far.
The breakdown in talks represents a loss for the Biden administration, considering they’ve been negotiating to get back into the deal since January of 2021. It’s a win for global security, however, and not just because it squeezes the Iranians further over their nuclear ambitions. According to a report in Friday’s Washington Free Beacon, it’ll also keep terrorists from automatically getting their hands on billions in resources.
Former top American officials and experts told the conservative publication that “Iran will gain immediate access to billions of dollars in cash assets on the day a new nuclear accord is signed, money that will flow to Tehran’s top terror organizations before Congress has a chance to review the deal,” the Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo wrote.
“Sanctioned entities linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)—the country’s paramilitary fighting force that is trying to assassinate U.S. officials — will receive a massive influx of cash the moment the deal is signed. The Biden administration will also release some $7 billion in frozen assets tied to IRGC funding ‘prior to a single day of congressional review,’ Richard Goldberg, former director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction on the White House National Security Council, told the Free Beacon.”
“While Iran is actively trying to assassinate former U.S. officials and kidnap Iranian Americans, the Biden administration is offering Iran billions in upfront sanctions relief for the IRGC prior to a single day of congressional review,” Goldberg said.
The IRGC, a branch of the Iranian armed forces which is intended to protect the Islamist political system in the country, has been linked to political suppression at home and terrorism abroad. The military branch also took responsibility for shooting down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 as it departed Tehran’s airport in January of 2020.
The administration is technically barred from lifting sanctions on Iran before congressional review. However, a policy analysis by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan think tank, said the White House is looking at a mechanism that cancels Trump-era executive orders, which sanctioned the IRGC and organizations tied to it.
“The executive orders authorized sanctions on Iranian financial institutions, its petrochemical and automotive sectors, and its manufacturing industry, as well as its mining, construction, and textile sectors. If Biden cancels these sanctions, a large tranche of cash will immediately become accessible,” Kredo wrote.
“This includes $7 billion in funds parked in international accounts that ‘will reportedly be unfrozen prior to congressional review pursuant to’ the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, or INARA. The act was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 2015 after the Obama administration inked the original accord without consulting the legislative body.”
Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran sanctions expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the agreement would supercharge the IRGC’s terrorism by providing a massive cash injection.
“Releasing frozen funds to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism essentially puts Tehran’s terror apparatus on steroids. That’s akin to trying to put out one fire while causing another,” Ben Taleblu told the Free Beacon.
“Regardless of the status of the IRGC’s terrorism designation, a deal that still stands to offer major relief for other terror funding entities in Iran makes little strategic sense.”
And, thanks to the 2015 Iran deal, we also know exactly where that $7 billion will be going, according to Trump-era State Department senior Iran adviser Gabriel Noronha.
“We have a clear precedent how they will use those funds,” Noronha said. “In 2016, President Obama’s $1.7 billion ransom was sent from the Central Bank of Iran to the IRGC’s budget account, which was then used to supercharge their terror activities.”
This and other issues with a potential deal have induced enough panic in lawmakers that 50 U.S. representatives — 34 Democrats and 16 Republicans — wrote the White House with concerns about how any proposed deal would affect Iran’s funding of terrorism.
In the letter, sent Thursday, Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Republican Rep. Andrew Garbarino of New York argued that a provision that would allow foreign nationals to conduct business with Iranians tied to the IRGC would “dilute” sanctions by opening a “pathway” for IRGC funding.
“We are deeply concerned about multiple provisions that reportedly may be contained in the final language of any agreement with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” the letter read.
“If the regime in Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, has proven anything, it’s that it can’t be trusted.”
Which is funny, because the Biden administration has been willing to trust Tehran since the moment it took power in January of 2021. It’s been desperately searching for a way back into the nuclear deal — yet, instead of negotiating down the price of U.S. entry to ease sanctions effectively, Iran’s government keeps on jacking it up.
The costs of the JCPOA were too high when it was signed in 2015 under the Obama administration. It’s way too high now, yet Joe Biden’s functionaries keep scurrying around Vienna, trying to make it happen.
With the stroke of a pen, billions could flow to a terrorist organization. America can’t afford that risk.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.