October 13, 2023

Biden’s $6 Billion Iran Blunder

This is yet another foreign policy disaster that can be laid directly at the Biden administration’s feet.

Stroke victim and Pennsylvania Democrat Senator John Fetterman put it perfectly when he said in a recent interview, “You all should need to know that America is not sending their best and brightest to Washington, DC.” Fetterman’s hilarious lack of self-awareness aside, when describing President Joe Biden and his foreign policy decisions, this statement takes on a heavy meaning.

Under Biden, the U.S. surrendered Afghanistan, stranding hundreds of Americans who are at the mercy of the Taliban and leaving behind billions of dollars in American weaponry. Because of his careless words and actions, Russia felt emboldened to invade Ukraine, and China sent a spy balloon floating across the continental U.S. along with ramping up threats to Taiwan.

Biden’s latest blunder occurred this past September 11, when his administration agreed to unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian assets as a ransom payment for hostages. This money, which was being held in South Korea, was to be delved out to non-government Iranians for humanitarian purposes — or at least that’s what was sold to the American public. But Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi immediately threw cold water on that by declaring those monies were Iranian funds and would be used however they saw fit.

After Saturday’s vicious attack by Hamas — an Iranian-backed terror group — against Israel, many believe Biden’s ill-advised decision played a role. Reportedly, none of this money has been touched, but its availability could definitely have contributed to the horrific attack.

“Because money is fungible,” explains National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, “once the Iranian regime knew it was there, on deposit with Qatar for the regime’s benefit, Iran was free to divert to terrorism-promotion other funds it would have had to spend on legitimate governmental purposes.”

Iran’s backing of these attacks has been confirmed — well, by everyone except intrepid Secretary of State Antony Blinken — and U.S. senators from both parties demanded that Biden refreeze those assets in the hopes that further aggression from the Iranian-backed jihadis is stymied. Lo and behold, news came yesterday that the U.S. and Qatar made a deal to disallow Iranian access to the money.

McCarthy, for one, is unconvinced, writing, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Indeed, Team Biden allowed the $6 billion to be transferred to Qatar — a known ally of Iran. The next question is if the Qataris put a time limit on this new denied access. In other words, how long is Qatar willing to help the U.S. over Iran? And what does “access” mean?

Finally, if the money is really refrozen, why is Congress working on legislation to refreeze it?

The violent incursion by Hamas terrorists this past weekend killed at least 1,300 Israelis and wounded thousands more. At least 27 Americans were killed in the attack, with more still missing or possibly dead.

This president treats foreign policy like a liberal cornucopia and assumes everyone thinks like a Western liberal. With Iran, his first mistake was to negotiate with this terror-funding regime, whose stated aims are to eradicate the state of Israel and the West at large. His second mistake was to wait until he was under bipartisan pressure to even pretend to refreeze the $6 billion. He is a weak and feeble president, and our country and its allies deserve better.

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