Rewarding or appeasing a rogue state generally comes in two distinct forms: Total disregard of the regime’s destructive behavior regionally and globally, and the lifting of political pressure and economic sanctions on the state in question.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Iran, the current US administration appears to be pursuing both forms of appeasement, which may have severe repercussions for US national security, as well as regional security, peace and stability.

The Biden administration should refrain from negotiating with a rogue regime that is actively trying to carry out terrorism on American soil during the negotiations. Recently, a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Shahram Poursafi, aka Mehdi Rezayi, 45, of Tehran, was charged with a terrorist plot that involved offering an individual in the US $300,000 to murder a former US government official, John Bolton. The US Department of Justice said: “This should serve as a warning to any others attempting to do the same — the FBI will be relentless in our efforts to identify, stop, and bring to justice those who would threaten our people and violate our laws.”

Bolton previously served as the 25th US ambassador to the UN from 2005 to 2006 under the Bush administration and as the 26th US national security adviser from 2018 to 2019 under the Trump administration. Mike Pompeo, the former US secretary of state, was believed to be the second target of the Iranian regime, with the IRGC member reportedly offering $1 million for this future “job” to be completed.

When it comes to the Islamic Republic, orders to carry out extraterritorial assassinations most likely come from the top of the political ladder.

If the White House does not send a strong message to the Islamic Republic by halting the nuclear talks, Iranian leaders will be further empowered and emboldened to plan assassinations on American territory. Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, said: “An attempted assassination of a former US government official on US soil is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.” His statement should be followed up with tangible action from the White House against the Iranian regime.

The regime is not only targeting former US officials on American soil but also Iranian activists who criticize the theocratic establishment. For example, the regime was caught plotting to kidnap a US citizen in Brooklyn in July 2021, an active violation of US sovereignty. US prosecutors have charged four Iranians, Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, aka Vezerat Salimi/Hajj Ali, 50; Mahmoud Khazein, 42; Kiya Sadeghi, 35; and Omid Noori, 45, all believed to be intelligence operatives for the Iranian regime, with plotting to kidnap the journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, who has dual US-Iranian citizenship.

A fifth person, Niloufar Bahadorifar, a California resident, again originally from Iran, was charged with providing financial assistance for the plot, sanctions violations conspiracy, bank and wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. Audrey Strauss, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York at the time, said: “As alleged, four of the defendants monitored and planned to kidnap a US citizen of Iranian origin who has been critical of the regime’s autocracy, and to forcibly take their intended victim to Iran, where the victim’s fate would have been uncertain at best.”

It is worth noting that the nuclear deal will lead to the removal of major economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic, and will enhance its global legitimacy, unfreeze Tehran’s assets, and give the ruling clerics access to the global financial system.

The regime will likely first use the extra revenue to increase its military budget and terror activities abroad. It will then likely escalate Iran’s interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. This occurred after the 2015 nuclear deal when Tehran’s military involvement in Iraq steadily rose. The regime also became more forceful in supporting and assisting the Syrian government, militarily and economically, as well as providing intelligence and acting in an advisory role. Sanctions relief, as a consequence of a return to the nuclear accord, would help Iran’s IRGC and elite Quds force, which focuses on extraterritorial operations, to buttress the regime’s proxies, including Hezbollah, the Houthis and Iraqi Shiite militias.

In a nutshell, it is incumbent on the Biden administration to hold the Iranian regime accountable and send a strong message to its leadership, otherwise Tehran’s brazen attempts to kill US citizens on American soil will continue.

Source » arabnews