Amid mounting tensions in the Middle East, The New York Post’s editorial board strongly urges President Joe Biden to adopt a firmer stance against Iran. [Source]
President Joe Biden’s recent trip to the Middle East, aimed at demonstrating unity with Israel, must be more than symbolic. Biden should recognize the root of the region’s turmoil: Iran. Understanding the vast influence of Tehran, he has the chance to clarify America’s position against this dominant force, ensuring the safety of our allies and our global stature.
Currently, Biden’s sanctions relief has unintentionally strengthened Iran’s financial position. A once staggering $4 billion in global reserves has ballooned to $40 billion during his tenure. While diplomacy and negotiations are crucial in international relations, the administration’s handling of Tehran is wanting.
So, what should be the next course of action?
- Freeze Funds: The release of $6 billion by Biden, perceived by many as a ransom payment for U.S. hostages, was a misstep. These funds should be frozen again immediately.
- Acknowledge Iran’s Involvement: The administration needs to see the reality and identify Iran’s hand in the 10/7 terror attack, the most severe incident against Jews since the Holocaust.
- Display Strength: Recent threats from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian against Israel cannot be answered with just words. Biden must reassure our allies by taking a solid stand, even contemplating strikes against Tehran’s proxies or its nuclear facilities if they become direct threats.
Amirabdollahian’s remarks suggest that Iran has considerable influence over regional actions. Biden should emphasize this and condemn Iran’s mullahs for their cunning tactics, using groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and other militias to push their agenda.
Relying solely on passive diplomacy could be perilous for Biden. The U.S. must be cautious of the conflict images from Gaza, as they could intensify domestic appeals for appeasement, fuel divisions, and inspire Iranian aggression.
Moreover, our worries extend beyond the Middle East. The alliance between Russia, China, and Iran jeopardizes the balance of power. Iran’s arms deals with Moscow and its growing oil exports to Beijing emphasize this impending danger.
Biden’s team recently brokered a deal, releasing $6 billion to Tehran to free five unjustly detained Americans. Although we celebrate our compatriots’ return, the method used warrants scrutiny.
This move, evoking memories of the Obama administration’s 2015 release of frozen assets alongside American hostages’ freedom, faces rightful criticism. Injecting billions into Iran’s economy might further empower its regime, possibly prompting them to detain more foreigners anticipating substantial ‘rewards.’
Republican figures, like Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John Thune, have voiced their concerns, highlighting the consequences of such decisions. The Biden administration asserts these funds are for humanitarian use. However, as stated by Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, the funds’ utilization is entirely Iran’s decision.
Iran’s recent denial of access to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors amidst these transactions is alarming. By barring these experienced inspectors, Iran continues its secret nuclear pursuits, adding to the region’s instability.
The freedom of Americans detained in Iran is a notable achievement. Still, President Biden must confront Iranian aggression decisively.
Will Biden show the resolve required at this crucial juncture? Time will reveal the answer. But for our nation’s sake and the world at large, we sincerely hope so.