Amid the resumption of nuclear negotiations, the Biden administration quietly lifted sanctions on Iran to allow the Islamic regime to sell electricity to Iraq, according to a non-public notification.
The Washington Free Beacon reported the notification was transmitted to Congress Nov. 29, the day nuclear negotiations resumed. The timing has prompted accusations the U.S. is displaying weakness ahead of the talks to restart the 2015 nuclear deal after it was shut down by the Trump administration.
The waiver amounts to a “dressed-up Hanukah present to” Iran, said Richard Goldberg, the former director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction on Trump’s White House National Security Council.
Goldberg, who is now a senior adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, told the Free Beacon it’s “just another unfortunate example of projecting weakness and deference at a time when the U.S. needs to build leverage and project strength.”
“If the waiver was going to be renewed for Iraq relations, it should have been messaged and announced well before arrival in Vienna. It just screams desperation, he said.”
The Biden administration, however, has said it is unwilling to remove all of the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, as Iran demands.
Nevertheless, the waiver on electricity sales gives the terrorist-supporting regime another source of income for another 120 days.
The State Department contends the waiver is “in the national security interest of the United States,” Iraq is reliant on Iranian electricity.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken argued Iraq “continues to be a critical partner in the region, and its continued concrete political and economic cooperation is expected as a result of this waiver.”
After a week of nuclear talks, Iran and the United States appear to be at an impasse, the Free Beacon reported. Tehran wants the removal of all sanctions and other measures aimed at keeping the regime from completing construction of a functional nuclear weapon.
Reports last week, the Free Beacon said, indicate Iran is taking steps to enrich uranium to 90% purity, which is weapons-grade fuel.
The non-profit watchdog group United Against Nuclear Iran said Friday Tehran is extorting the West entertains its demands at the negotiating table in Vienna.
“The Biden administration has asserted that the U.S. will not allow Iran to use this round of talks as cover to accelerate its nuclear program. Iran is showing, however, that it needs no pretext to continue on its path to a nuclear weapons capability. It is speeding in that direction today,” said the group’s CEO, Mark D. Wallace, in a statement.
Wallace, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the leaders of the international community “choose not to see what is plainly evident.”
In recognizing Iran’s right to enrich uranium, the five world powers – the U.S., U.K., France, China, Russia and Germany – “provided the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with the option to resort to the nuclear extortion it is carrying out now.”
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