The consequences of Biden’s deal with Iran will be dangerously worse for the world
Negotiations on a new nuclear deal with Iran have stalled. For the time being. But talks are expected to resume. Policymakers would be wise to take advantage of this lull to take a sober look at the draft deal. They should pay particular attention to the dangerous regional consequences that would flow from another flawed deal with Iran.
As it stands, the new deal would be even worse than the original. Instead of the “stronger and longer” deal we were promised, the deal now on the table is weaker and will shorten the time it takes for Iran to become a nuclear power. Rather than preventing Iran from getting the bomb, it would pave the way for Tehran to go nuclear and bolster its “unsanctioned” global terror arm – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The most likely outcome of these developments would be a devastating regional war between Israel and Iran, as Tel Aviv attempts to prevent Tehran from achieving its stated goal of erasing Israel from the earth. This war would inevitably expand, with Iran attacking Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Even if there is no immediate war, it is logical that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt find it necessary to acquire nuclear arsenals to deter Iran – a dangerous situation which could also lead to a nuclear war.
Consider the rosiest of scenarios with no war or nuclear proliferation. The deal would still release billions of dollars in frozen Iranian funds and lift current sanctions against the regime. It will strengthen and embolden Iran’s Islamist dictatorship, just as it did after the original 2015 nuclear deal.
This deal gave Tehran a windfall, which the regime quickly used to accelerate its uranium enrichment and ballistic missile program. These funds have also enabled the IRGC to step up its military intervention in Syria and accelerate the transfer of advanced drones and missiles to a deadly network of proxy terrorist groups: Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, militias Iraqis and Houthi militants in Yemen. These anti-Western terrorist groups target civilians in Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Don’t make a mistake. The Iranian regime remains more vehemently anti-American than ever.
As Iranian diplomats engaged in nuclear talks in Vienna, Tehran orchestrated a series of proxy attacks on US forces in the region and on Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
These attacks will likely increase after a new deal with Iran. US concessions on sanctions would subsidize Iran’s continued military buildup, proxy terror network, internal repression and nuclear program.
In addition, the new agreement with Iran will strengthen Russian President Vladimir Putin, strengthen the economic and military alliance between Russia and Iran, and open up more ways for Russia to circumvent US and European sanctions imposed due to his invasion of Ukraine.
There’s also the troubling likelihood that the Biden administration will make the same mistake as the Obama administration: failing to adequately push back against Iran’s regionally destabilizing behavior after a nuclear deal is struck, however flawed. .
Fearful of jeopardizing what it mistakenly sees as a legacy, the Biden administration is perhaps even more inclined than it is now to treat Iran with gloves.
This complacent passivity will project weakness that could further embolden Iranian extremists, undermine longstanding US national interests, and demoralize US allies in the region who are threatened by Iran’s aggressive regime and feel betrayed by the Biden administration.
Worse still, Russia and China would be two of the biggest beneficiaries of the deal outside of Iran. Moscow, which has already made billions of dollars building Iran’s nuclear reactors, hopes to sell weapons to Tehran for billions more. China, which last year signed a 25-year, $400 billion strategic partnership agreement with Tehran, will benefit from increased trade, easier access to a major source of oil imports and an invigorated ally in a critical region.
What is the alternative? The Biden administration needs to think outside the box. The United States cannot afford a prohibitive price tag for a flawed nonproliferation agreement that is nothing more than a diplomatic speed bump.
Instead, the United States should make every effort to deprive the Iranian regime and its terrorist wing of resources that can be used to advance its heinous agenda. Simultaneously, Washington should support and encourage Arab-Israeli cooperation to build a front of collective security and economic integration that curbs Iranian expansion. The region also needs an integrated air and missile defense umbrella. There may also be a need for extended nuclear deterrence against an escaped Iranian nuclear threat.
The Middle East has long been a powder keg. The current deal would only lengthen it and shorten the fuse.
• A Vice President of the Heritage Foundation, James Jay Carafano, directs the think tank’s research program on national security and foreign affairs issues. Adam Milstein is the co-founder of the Israel-American Council, where he is a member of the board of directors and president emeritus.