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Biden's blueprint for rejoining Iran Deal
Before Malley left, ICG issued a paper that outlined current US policy on Iran
Every time breaking news on nuclear talks with Iran flashes on my phone, the outline of the last International Crisis Croup (ICG) paper on Iran flashes across my head. The paper was posted shortly before President Joe Biden appointed ICG’s president Robert Malley as his Envoy on Iran.
Among the big donors of Malley’s ICG are fossil fuel companies BP and Chevron (so long for Biden fighting climate change). Such companies are naturally invested in whatever deal with Iran, now that Qatar announced signing $30 billion worth of contracts over a gas field that it shares with Iran. Fossil fuel companies must be racing to snatch a piece of the giant Iranian part, and they are certainly pushing Washington and European capitals toward reviving any deal.
Those following on statements by American and Iranian officials might think that reviving the deal has arrived at a stalemate. But these are only statements for domestic political consumption. In reality, the Biden administration has been in touch with the Iran regime even before Biden was sworn in. Talks are being mediated by the Europeans.
If you read ICG’s paper, you will see striking similarities between how ICG outlined reviving the deal and how things are unfolding in reality. Washington pretended that it accepted a European invitation — which it had planned together with Europeans behind closed doors — to join talks to revive the nuclear deal. Expect some fire works and fiery statements, but also keep an eye on how the EU will hold a conference, between March 1 and 3, to encourage European companies to invest in Iran (this is in ICG’s paper too). If the ICG outline goes as planned, America will let the Europeans start reviving the Iranian economy, in return for Iran reciprocating (which will look as if Iran moved first).America will then suspend sanctions that Obama suspended on October 18, 2015.
But don’t mistake Obama’s removal of sanctions with “all US sanctions” on Iran. Obama never removed all sanctions on the mullahs, only enough to allow Iran to export over two million barrels of oil a day, which should give Iran an income of over $30 billion a year. While such money will not be enough to raise the Iranian standard of living, it will be enough to fund the regime and its militias across the region.
To test American sincerity and reimpose new rules, Iran has instructed its militias to launch attacks on a US base in Iraq and to launch a military offensive in Yemen. Washington remained moot, and said it prioritized nuclear talks. Now Tehran is sure that nuclear will be the beginning of the deal, and its end, and hence Iran will get away with its regional troublemaking and global sponsorship of terrorism.
Clearly, the death of personnel at the US base in Iraq because of an Iranian attack did not derail Biden. He looked the other way and let the Europeans continue with ICG’s plan. Soon, the world will be back to January 18, 2016, when Iran collected money for freezing its nukes and used the money to fund its militias and missile program. This end result is, too, in ICG’s paper.