Biden and the JCPOA

the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

As a candidate, now-president Joe Biden talked about the United States maintaining its commitment and rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

As a candidate, now-president Joe Biden talked about the United States maintaining its commitment and rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). That agreement, between Iran, the U.S., England, France, Germany, China and Russia became effective in 2015, and lifted sanctions against Iran in return for limits on Iran’s nuclear development program. It was endorsed by both the U.S. Congress and the United Nations before taking effect. It was praised almost universally, with Israel being the most prominent voice of criticism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even spoke before the U.S. Congress to condemn it and urge Congress not to endorse it.

Despite those efforts, the JCPOA was implemented and proceeded smoothly, with all parties in compliance until May of 2018, when the erratic Donald Trump, inaugurated in January of 2017, unilaterally and arbitrarily pulled out of it.

The election of Biden seem to the naïve to be the harbinger of better days. And indeed, Biden has undone some of Trump’s more egregious actions (e.g. Muslim travel ban; withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord; Keystone Pipeline). But some things in U.S. government remain the same, and allegiance to Israel and hostility to Iran are constants. Thus, the new Secretary of State, the war-mongering Antony Blinkin, has stated that the resurrection of the JCPOA is up to Iran: that country, which remained compliant for a full year even after the U.S. violated it, must come back into full compliance in order for the U.S. to do so.

This sounds frighteningly like Trump’s policy. Trump, who called the JCPOA the ‘worst deal ever’, left the White House still awaiting a call from Iran, begging the U.S. to renegotiate the agreement. His brutal sanctions did not have the impact he desired; he seemed to think, in his own bizarre way, that the people of Iran would blame their own government for the economic downturn resulting from sanctions, rise up against it, and invite the U.S. to install a more malleable government. Trump forgot (assuming he ever even knew this) that the U.S. supported a brutal, repressive Iranian regime for decades, after overthrowing the democratically-elected government in 1953, and that the Iranian people finally overthrew that government in 1979. The bull having been driven from the China shop, it is unlikely that the owner will invite it back.

Yet that was Trump’s thought (if anything he said or did could be construed as having been triggered by ‘thought’ and not impulse). And now, it seems, Biden holds the same belief.

Let us, if we can, look at a hypothetical situation. A person hires a contractor to remove the snow from the parking lot of his building during the winter months. The business owner and the contractor agree that the owner will pay $X.00 for each snow removal. The contract is duly signed with witnesses. Starting in November, it snows frequently, and the contractor plows the snow and clears the sidewalks every week, collecting $X.00 each time. Six weeks into the winter, with the snow still coming down, the owner stops paying. The contractor, hoping that this will be a temporary delay, continues plowing every week until late January when, with at least a month of snow season left, he stops. The following winter, the building owner calls the contractor and says he will pay for the weeks from December to January that the contractor plowed, but for which he was not paid, once the contractor starts plowing again.

Now, in this simple example, it is clear that there is no reason for the contractor to start snow removal again; the business owner has proven himself to be dishonest. If he wants that contractor to remove snow again, he will have to pay the contractor for services already rendered, before the contractor will consider plowing his parking lot again.

This, however, is what Biden and Blinkin are asking: Iran must comply first, even though it was the U.S. that violated the agreement.

Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, described Biden as a man “who has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades”. It seems the new president is anxious to prove Gates correct.

Biden is an avowed Zionist, as is his vice-president, Kamala Harris. And the one thing no Zionist politician (and their names in the U.S. are legion) can do is cross Israel. Democratic politicians took a chance when endorsing the JCPOA in 2015, but they were anxious to hand their president a victory, and so they defied Netanyahu and the various pro-Israel lobbies that support their campaigns.

The JCPOA was part of President Obama’s initiative to reduce tensions in the Middle East; in exchange for a reduction in Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, international trade restrictions on that nation were reduced and monies owed it, but held by the U.S., were released. In Trump’s desperate attempt to undo all of Obama’s limited accomplishments, he violated the JCPOA, reinstated sanctions and added new ones, and assassinated a popular Iranian General. This did nothing to help anyone in the Middle East, but was pleasing to his powerful Zionist masters in Israel.

Now it appears that Biden, in his inept way, will add fuel to the Middle East fire by maintaining sanctions, causing further hostility towards the United States in many Middle East nations. He will let slip from his grasp the opportunity to be seen as a peacemaker. Of course, in the U.S., that is not generally seen as a positive designation. U.S. politicians seem to believe that strength only comes from military might, and that forcing other nations to bend to the U.S. will is what they, and their constituents, want. Such concepts as diplomacy, respect, negotiation, compromise, etc. are all well and good when other countries demonstrate them, but for the U.S., it’s always better to enter a country, guns blazing, and run things the U.S. way. Perhaps that is why the U.S. is responsible for an estimated 20,000,000 deaths since World War II.

But Trump is gone and there is great rejoicing in the streets. History will be kind to Biden because he’s not Trump. But sanctions issued by Biden are no more benign than those issued by Trump; people in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Venezuela and countless other nations suffer no less because it is Biden calling the shots and not Trump.

So the U.S. finds itself in a ‘meet-the-new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss’ situation. This writer certainly sees some improvement, but when one starts at rock bottom there is nowhere to go but up. But from what we have seen thus far, it is unlikely that Biden will elevate things significantly.

 

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