President Joe Biden showed leadership and courage this week by flying into an active war zone to personify solidarity with America’s embattled friends and allies in Israel.
Too bad Biden’s appeasement of Iran made the trip necessary.
Perhaps Biden went to Tel Aviv to atone for his years of financial assistance to the ayatollahs. Biden’s folly – believing that kindness would tame the mullahs — exploded in his face on October 7: Iran’s Hamas puppets shocked Israel with the most brutal attack that it has endured since the Yom Kippur War, almost exactly 50 years earlier.
Biden’s Fair Play for Tehran policy has replenished its finances after President Donald J. Trump’s “maximum-pressure” campaign drained them. But rather than cooperation, Iran has shown Biden contempt. And its proxies, subsidized directly or fungibly with American cash, have killed at least 1,400 people in today’s War on Israel.
“The Biden Administration’s decision to release $6 billion to Iran – the world’s leading state sponsor of terror – was a grave mistake that created a market for American hostages, emboldened our adversaries, and put a credit on the balance sheets of one of Hamas’ biggest backers,” Senator Tim Scott (R – South Carolina) told Fox Business Network on Tuesday.
The Senate Banking Committee’s top Republican wants to freeze this massive ransom payment so Iran cannot tap it for “humanitarian aid,” shift an equal sum of fungible cash into, say, its health ministry; and siphon those resources from hospitals to Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Jew killers.
Fungibility is simple:
Cigarettes are disgusting, and I never would finance a friend’s coffin nails. But if I bought him a case of beer weekly, he could channel his beer budget into smokes. I could avoid this by giving him a case of non-fungible beer weekly, rather than fungible beer money.
Even with a pounding hangover, any frat boy understands this. Too bad it’s beyond Biden’s grasp.
Alas, Biden has been the ayatollahs’ best friend since long before this $6 billion prisoner-swap payoff.
- Biden relaxed sanctions on Iran, while obsessively demolishing anything that Trump accomplished.
- By letting the mullahs sell more oil, particularly to China (another international beauty), Iran’s oil production swelled from 2.7 million barrels per day on December 31, 2020 – just before Trump departed – to 3.4 million barrels on May 31, 2023 – up 25.9%.
- Biden’s War on Domestic Oil hiked prices. This has gilded Tehran’s coffers. Brent crude averaged $57.96 per barrel under Trump and $83.84 on Biden’s watch, per the US Energy Information Administration. This increased Iran’s oil revenue – up 44.65%.
- As Iran International reported, “Iranian oil shipments began to pick up toward the end of 2020, as candidate Joe Biden announced in September of that year his intention to revive the 2015 JCPOA,” AKA the Iran-nuclear deal, which Trump correctly hurled atop the ash heap of history. Iran’s exports subsequently soared from a low of 100,000 barrels per day in 2020, according to Reuters, to 1.5 million barrels in August – up 1,400%.
- Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe explained to Fox News Channel’s Trey Gowdy: “Iran’s access to foreign-exchange reserves went from $4 billion in the Trump administration to $72 billion in the Biden administration” – up 1,700%.
- Ratcliffe’s $72 billion figure dovetails almost perfectly with the findings of Heritage Foundation scholar Tyler O’Neil. In an excellent, albeit maddening, October 18 article for The Daily Signal, O’Neil carefully researched and clearly detailed his verdict on Biden’s Tehran policy: “The administration’s previous record already has translated to an extra $70 billion flowing to Iran’s ruling mullahs.”
Specifically, O’Neil calculates: $1.6 billion in steel revenues: “The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s steel industry, which the Biden administration hasn’t enforced,” O’Neil wrote. “Iran received approximately $1.6 billion more under Biden than it might have under Trump.” $3.42 billion in Special Drawing Rights: “In August 2021, the IMF sent $3.42 billion to Iran in special drawing rights,” O’Neil learned. “The Biden administration had the authority to oppose this allocation and did not do so.”
$3.8 billion in petrochemicals: Iran’s petrochemical sales have grown some 6% since Trump left office, yielding this 10-digit bonus.
$10 billion from Iraq: “In July, Blinken signed a 120-day national security waiver allowing Iraq, which is heavily dependent on Iranian electricity, to deposit payments into non-Iraqi banks in third countries instead of into restricted accounts in Iraq,” Reuters reported.
$52.2 billion in extra oil revenues: After detonating Trump’s “maximum pressure” initiative, “the Biden administration has undertaken fewer enforcement actions, and sanctions can atrophy when not enforced,” O’Neil concluded. “This translates to a $52.2 billion windfall.”
All told, O’Neil documents $71.02 billion that Joe Biden has made available to his pals in Iran.
Biden’s inflationary pressure on gas and other prices has impoverished America, even as he has enriched Iran. The ayatollahs returned the favor by underwriting Hamas, which has killed 32 Americans in its war on Israel. Up to 11 others are missing and feared kidnapped.
The circle of strife is complete.
Biden did all of this, even while Iran topped the State Department’s list of state-sponsors of terrorism.
“Iran has, unfortunately, always used and focused its funds on supporting terrorism, on supporting groups like Hamas,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said October 8 on NBC’s Meet the Press. “And it’s done that when there have been sanctions. It’s done that when there haven’t been sanctions. And it’s always prioritized that.”
So, for the love of God, why would Biden send even one rusty penny to a nation that his own State Department certifies as terrorists?
This largesse might be worthy if it taught Iran some manners. Au contraire
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor. Aaron Cichon contributed research to this opinion piece.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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