Bloomberg Opinion published a piece Wednesday that advocated for President Joe Biden to “make a clean break from his failed Iran policy” during his trip to the Middle East this week.
The op-ed, written by columnist Bobby Ghosh, also slammed Biden for looking “naive” to other nations in the Middle East by kowtowing to the Iranian regime in an effort to renew the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Ghosh wrote that Israelis and Arabs in the Middle East “believe Biden, eager to revive the 2015 nuclear deal Tehran struck with the world powers, is too tolerant of Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, ranging from financing and arming a wide network of militias and terrorist groups to enriching uranium to levels well beyond any peaceful purpose.”
“The Biden administration has for the most part looked the other way as Iran has flouted the sanctions, exporting ever more oil and greatly increasing its military spending,” he continued.
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Ghosh noted that in the eyes of Israel and the Gulf Arabs, Biden’s concessions seem “naive.”
“All this seems naive to the Israelis and Gulf Arabs, who point out that Biden has gotten nothing in return for his conciliatory attitude,” he wrote. “Iran will not even negotiate directly with the US, preferring to use European intermediaries. Tehran has made no meaningful concessions; on the contrary, Biden’s chief negotiator says Tehran has added new demands even as it has sped up its enrichment activities.”
The author pointed out the likelihood that Iran is just trying to run out the clock by stalling talks “until it has achieved the status of a nuclear weapons threshold state, akin to Japan and South Korea, which have stopped short of weaponizing their stockpiles. The United Nations nuclear watchdog says Iran already has enough material for one bomb.”
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“In effect, Iran is enhancing its ability to terrorize its neighbors and blackmail the international community while pretending that enrichment is just a pressure tactic to bring the US back into the JCPOA,” he continued.
Despite this, Biden is in the Middle East to pitch the Iran nuclear deal to Israel and Saudi Arabia, which Ghosh strongly advised against.
“Rather than try to defend the indefensible, Biden should take the opportunity to make a clean break from his failed Iran policy,” he wrote. He argued that Biden “should announce that time has run out for its revival.”
“He should end the charade of negotiations and press the other signatories to invoke the ‘snapback’ feature in the deal, which imposes broader United Nations sanctions on Iran,” he wrote.
“If he is sincere about reclaiming America’s ‘vital leadership role’ in the Mideast, Biden should demonstrate leadership where it is most vital,” Ghosh concluded.