As the UN nuclear watchdog calls Iran’s latest actions a “fatal blow,” Trump’s former ambassador says Biden is squarely to blame.
The Biden administration has emboldened Iran to unprecedented levels of public defiance, former U.S. envoy to Israel David Friedman told World Israel News in an exclusive interview in Tel Aviv, amid reports the regime in Tehran is removing dozens of UN surveillance cameras from its nuclear sites.
“Iran is not scared of America and that’s a very dangerous thing. Iran is more public than ever in showing its nuclear development.”
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi hastily convened a press briefing on Thursday, warning that in a matter of weeks, his agency’s inspectors would be unable to track Iran’s progress as it enriches uranium to unprecedented, weapons-grade levels.
The removal of surveillance cameras from nuclear sites around Iran would prove a “fatal blow” to the chances of success in reviving the tattered 2015 nuclear deal, Grossi said.
Since President Joe Biden took office, Iran has become increasingly vocal about the steps it has taken in violation of the accord, from boasting about installing advanced centrifuges and increasing uranium enrichment to Wednesday’s announcement that it had shut off IAEA monitoring devices.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has blamed former president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal in 2018 for Iran’s increasingly malign behavior, an assertion that Friedman rejects out of hand.
“Trump positioned the next administration to continue to impose and strengthen sanctions on Iran with the hope that, if there was going to be a deal with Iran, to make the deal attractive to the West,” Friedman told WIN.
“Getting out of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] had minimal if any consequences to the Iranian nuclear program, they were building one regardless,” he said.
According to the former ambassador, Biden played his hand incorrectly from the start and was a “terrible negotiator.”
By lifting sanctions and restoring funding, Biden showed Iran that “he very much wants to get into the deal, which is a terrible way to negotiate,” he said.
The administration also proved to Iran with its actions vis-à-vis Afghanistan, China and the Ukraine, that it is “simply not up for a fight,” he added.
“Biden has also said that any country that has a nuclear weapon is a country we won’t engage with, because he’s not interested in starting a nuclear war,” Friedman said.
“That has removed all deterrence,” he concluded.
(World Israel News – Exclusive)