Biden wants a deal but it may end up on Iran’s terms

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The Biden administration and Iran seem to be on the same page — and that means the writing is on the wall for Israel. The Democrats are determined to bind the US to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) treaty with the mullahs, giving Tehran the upper hand.

The president claims to consider Israel’s security, but the State Department has chosen this moment to pick a public fight with Israel over reopening its Palestinian consulate in east Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the Democrats refuse to adjust to the new reality signalled by the alliance between Israel and the Gulf states. It wasn’t just the far-left that had reacted with disgust to the Abraham Accords. Centrist Democrats were disappointed too.

They assume they can pull out of the Middle East without altering US influence in the region. But they expect it to be on their terms. The Abraham Accords, by contrast, reflect the realities of the region: the exhaustion of Islamism and “resistance”, the personalised nature of political rule, and above all the Iranian threat.

Republican politicians boast they’re in tune with their voters in Flyover Country. It’s a curious pose, given how these tribunes of the people spend their days so comfortably in Washington. Democratic politicians pride themselves on their distance from the plebs; a notable exception is Elizabeth Warren, the left-populist senator from Massachusetts who, I can attest, had a standby seat on my flight from DC to Boston last week. But generally, the Dems is a party of wonks.

Hell hath no fury like a wonk scorned. The Democrats cannot get over the rejection of the Obama cult. Congress refused to ratify his Iran nuclear deal in 2015, the voters refused to ratify his annointed successor in 2016, and the Accords exposed DC-led peace-processing for what it was: an endless free lunch for wonks and minor State Department functionaries.

Take Ned Price, the State Department’s new spokesman. Price is too delicate to utter the words “Abraham Accords”. He calls them “normalisation agreements.” Iran uses the same language. In September, when Yair Lapid became the first Israeli foreign minister to visit Bahrain, Iranian state media denounced the “normalisation of ties with the Zionist regime”.

The New York Times is on the same page. The contrived fuss over the east Jerusalem consulate happened to coincide with their extensive reports bashing Israel as a failed state full of sad people, and announcing US Jews no longer support Israel.

The truth is that Israelis report higher levels of happiness than Americans, and support for Israel among US Jews still runs at over 90 percent. But the truth is optional here, these days.

The word in Washington is that Biden’s negotiators want a deal in Vienna, and will accept pretty much any terms to get it. The deal will be the fig leaf that allows Biden to cover his campaign promises, Obama to refurbish his reputation, and the US to withdraw from Iraq. This is wonkishly tidy on paper, but I suspect that reality is about to issue another of its corrections to the Democrats’ dreams.

No one in Washington can explain to me why the Iranians would allow the US to exit the region on its own terms. Tehran is already on the verge of driving the US out of the region, and on Tehran’s terms. Perhaps I should have asked Elizabeth Warren.

Source » thejc

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