Sanctions relief for Iran shows how little the US has learned
The Biden administration, against all better judgment, renewed a sanctions waiver that will allow Iran to access $10 billion in payments from Iraq in exchange for electricity.
This waiver is renewed every 120 days, which means this is not a one-off money infusion to the worst terrorist state in the world. The idea that the White House could use the threat of freezing relief as leverage against Iran — to say nothing of imposing new sanctions — appears not to have crossed anyone’s mind.
So billions of dollars — including an estimated $100 billion in unfrozen assets so far — will keep rolling into the mullahs’ bank accounts for at least as long as Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office.
As if we did not have enough reasons to reimpose sanctions before October 7, confirmation that Iran masterminded, trained, and funded the Hamas atrocities in Israel should have been enough to ensure that we turned off the money spigot.
It’s a safe bet that a $6 billion payout the Biden administration claimed to have halted probably helped underwrite Hamas’ attacks. But Congress will need to get to the bottom of it. That $6 billion, by the way, was for American hostages held in Iran, not Americans held in Gaza. We’ve come a long way down in the more than 40 years since Tehran first dared to hold American citizens in captivity.
It’s almost as if Iran is a force of nature rather than a country susceptible to rewards and punishments like any other.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller last week attempted to defend the latest sanctions waiver with the empty promise that the funds can only be used for “humanitarian purposes.” Even if there were a way to closely monitor the use of these funds, money is fungible. Adding billions to one category of the ledger simply frees up billions in another.
Miller, in an effort to excuse what is sure to be continued aggressive behavior from Iran, also claimed that Iran would continue “destabilizing activities” regardless of the waiver. Apparently, the State Department will not consider the possibility that sanctions with teeth could dissuade Iran from carrying out its misdeeds in the Middle East and throughout the world. It’s almost as if Iran is a force of nature rather than a country susceptible to rewards and punishments like any other.
All of this is happening in the midst of escalating Iranian attacks on U.S. troops through Iran’s proxy militias in the Middle East. There have been 55 confirmed attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Syria since last Monday, including four strikes on one U.S. encampment in Syria alone. But you’ll be hard pressed to find any coverage of this in the mainstream media. While we’ve witnessed the occasional skirmish over the years, the number of attacks since early October is unprecedented and a clear message.
Our response? More money.
With dozens of injured U.S. military personnel, Iran is showing no signs of stopping. We seem more concerned with not ruffling the mullahs’ feathers than with making sure they know who runs the show. Well, as a wise man once said, either you run the show or the show runs you.
In effect, the Biden administration is paying Iran to test our limits. In the process, we aren’t just funding terrorism and war — we are rewarding it.
Blaze Media Read More