Under the radar: Biden gives Iran, Russia green light to continue nuclear work

A satellite image from April 2, 2016, of the Fordo nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

“The move went unnoticed at first by major media, which was clearly the intent of the administration,” the Zionist Organization of America stated.

By Atara Beck, World Israel News

Last Friday, “moments before the end of the workday, the Biden administration notified Congress that nonproliferation sanctions on the terrorist regime of Iran were being waived to allow Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned energy company, to profit without sanctions,” the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) noted in a press release this week.

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Washington Free Beacon was the only news site to report the event, apparently based on the deliberate timing of the notification.

“The Biden administration renewed a series of sanctions waivers that permit Iran and Russia to cooperate on nuclear work at Iranian enrichment sites, according to a non-public notification sent to Congress and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, the report said.

Furthermore, “Secretary of State Antony Blinken authorized the waivers on Jan. 31, but Congress was not notified of the decision until late on Feb. 3, after the Free Beacon began making inquiries about the exemptions. Senior congressional sources said the Biden administration is trying to sweep the sanctions waivers under the rug amid renewed concerns about Iran and Russia’s military alliance.”

ZOA concurred, stating that “on Friday evening, moments before the end of the workday, the Biden administration notified Congress that nonproliferation sanctions on the terrorist regime of Iran were being waived to allow Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned energy company, to profit without sanctions.”

“The move went unnoticed at first by major media, which was clearly the intent of the administration.”

 “The waivers—a vestige of the 2015 nuclear deal that the Biden administration is trying to salvage—provide billions in profit for Russian-state controlled firms, such as the Rosatom nuclear company, for work at Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant, a contested military site suspected of housing Tehran’s nuclear weapons program.

“By permitting cooperation, critics charge that the Biden administration is allowing Tehran to develop its nuclear program while enriching Russia through business with state-controlled organizations, the Beacon explains.

“These waivers send a message to both Tehran and Moscow that Washington still wants to move forward with a Russia-enabled Iran nuclear deal where [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the mullahs both make billions,” said Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank and former White House National Security Council director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction,” according to the Beacon. “It’s a real stab in the back to Ukraine and a win for Rosatom.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul issued a statement Saturday morning regarding the decision to waive sanctions.

“I am deeply troubled by the administration’s decision to waive sanctions on nonproliferation activities involving Iran, despite Iran’s continued noncompliance with its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the potential benefit to Russia’s state-owned energy giant, Rosatom.

“This decision further undermines international nonproliferation norms and is inconsistent with the administration’s stated policy to support Ukraine. Rosatom cannot be allowed to profit from work in Iran while it actively fuels the Kremlin’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine,” McCaul said.

A spokesman for Sen. Ted Cruz told the Beacon that “these waivers highlight what everybody already knows, though the State Department publicly denies it when they speak to the American public.

“The Biden administration is pathologically obsessed with reentering a nuclear deal with Iran,” he said. “They’re so obsessed they’re implementing parts of the last catastrophic deal, even without a new agreement. They’re so obsessed that they’re willing to boost Russia and the Russian-Iranian alliance that is attacking the Ukrainian military and civilians.”

“President Biden continues to reward the terrorist enemy of America, Iran, for monstrous behavior and irrationally undo the sanctions regime that was only inconveniencing Iran in any case. Their enrichment activities toward nukes have been moving forward throughout the tenure of President Biden, and Russian assistance will only shorten the critical timeline,” ZOA President Mort Klein said in a statement.

“In light of the aggressive sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, this step makes no sense at all,” he added.

“Russian state-owned companies will make billions and the United States and Israel will be far less safe. Israel may be forced to take military action to stop Iran’s program, and the Biden administration is literally doing nothing to deter these maniacal terrorists running Iran.

“The idea that this waiver will convince the Iranians to make a new deal with the United States is delusional on its face, but even in that scenario it would only compound the foreign policy malpractice of this administration. The JCPOA has sunset clauses which make it completely useless in the near term and for the life of the agreement, so that Iran would have no constraints on it at all by the end of this decade.”

 “We thank Senator Cruz and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) for their leadership on this issue. When the administration is so determined to be pathetically weak in the face of threats to American National Security, it is imperative that Congress takes the lead and acts in a bipartisan way to limit the damage from Iran and Russia working together,” said ZOA Director of Government Relations Dan Pollak.

In conversation with World Israel News, Pollak referred to McCaul’s confirmation that this move by the Biden administration ” was done at 6 p.m. on Friday, just before Shabbat and when everything was closing down in Washington. They did it quite intentionally at the end of the day. It worked…the mainstream media has still not reported on this.”

Indeed, to date – six days later – only the Beacon has reported on it.

It was done under the radar in order “to hide the policy that they’re not proud of,” Pollak said. “They’re not proud of this because the entire city of Washington, all parties, are looking to punish Russia, and this policy rewards Russia.”

Source: World Israel News


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