Biden shows U.S. true colors- In a move reminiscent of the Trump administration’s hooliganism, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered military attacks on resistance groups in Syria. The strike martyred a number of people whose main job was combating terrorism.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement on Thursday that the airstrikes were carried out by orders from President Biden, who campaigned on de-escalating tensions with Iran. Kirby also claimed that the U.S. aggression targeted Iran-backed groups.
“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria. These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel. Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS),” Kirby claimed.
The Pentagon spokesman also alleged that the U.S. acted in a manner that aims to “to de-escalate the overall situation,” a claim that stands in stark contrast to what the United States did in Syria.
The airstrikes came amid a renewed interest in diplomacy between Tehran and Washington following Joe Biden’s win in the U.S. presidential election. Biden has long promised to rekindle diplomacy with Iran, reviving hopes for salvaging the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
During his election campaign, Biden had said that he will offer Iran a credible path to diplomacy.
“I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations. With our allies, we will work to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal’s provisions, while also addressing other issues of concern,” Biden wrote in a September op-ed for CNN.
But Biden quietly reneged on his campaign promise after he won the U.S. presidential election by saying that rejoining the nuclear deal would be hard and difficult because the nuclear deal is not enough and thus it should be expanded.
And this has drawn strong criticism from Iran, which has roundly rejected any prospect for new negotiations beyond the nuclear program, particularly negotiations over the country’s missile program and its regional activities.
Iran called on the Biden administration to lift the sanctions its predecessor imposed on Iran after pulling out of it in May 2018, but the Biden administration refused to budge an inch. Instead, they keep calling on Iran to “return to compliance” with the JCPOA as if it was Iran that withdrew from this deal.
“Biden administration officials keep talking about Iran’s compliance with JCPOA. In what capacity? U.S. ceased participation in May 2018, violated JCPOA & punished those complying with UN resolution. As of today, U.S. remains in EXACTLY same position. Before spouting off, COMPLY,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet on February 11.
The chief Iranian diplomat reiterated this position in another tweet on Thursday, saying that the U.S. behavior has not changed since Biden took office.
“U.S. admits that only after it ‘left the JCPOA, Iran has taken steps away’ while until then ‘Iran was living up to its limits.’ That U.S. behavior—the CAUSE—has not changed. E3 also culpable-no business w with Iran for 3 years. US/E3 must remove the cause, NOT ask Iran to stop ¶36 remedies,” Zarif tweeted.
The Biden administration continues to follow its predecessor’s lead in dealing with Iran, resorting to coercive diplomacy all while ignoring its campaign promises to break with Trump’s failed policy on Iran.
In addition to holding tightly onto sanctions, the Biden administration also intends to ramp up diplomatic pressure on Iran by encouraging the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors to adopt a resolution against Iran.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that U.S. diplomats circulated a document on Thursday which lists Washington’s grievances and orders Iran to fully cooperate with inspectors. The proposed resolution would “underscore strong concern at the IAEA’s findings” and “express the board’s deepening concern with respect to Iran’s cooperation,” Bloomberg said, adding that this resolution would suggest that Iran could be providing incomplete information on its nuclear activities, something that has potentially serious consequences, including another referral to the United Nations Security Council.
In response, Iran has threatened to end a deal struck with the UN nuclear watchdog last weekend temporarily salvaging much monitoring of its activities if the agency’s board endorses the U.S.-led resolution next week, according to a Reuters report.
“Iran perceives this move as destructive and considers it as an end to the Joint Understanding of 21 February 2021 between the Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Iran purportedly said in its letter to the IAEA, according to Reuters.
Iran has not commented yet on this letter. But an unidentified Iranian official told Nour News, a website close to Iran’s top security body, that the U.S. “hackneyed” move to put forward a resolution against Iran is indicative of the U.S. intention to continue Trump’s pressure on Iran.
“These hackneyed behaviors are a continuation of Trump’s maximum pressure strategy and unveil the contentious intention of the new U.S. administration against Iran,” the Iranian official said.
The official also described the U.S. push to censure Iran at the IAEA as a “distractive move aimed at continuing inaction and pressure on Iran.”
Joe Biden has not changed the U.S. policy against Iran after he won the U.S. election. He criticized Trump for so many issues at home and abroad but ended up following exactly his bullying campaign against Iran, something that drew criticism even from some Biden proponents.
“If the Biden administration screws up rejoining the JCPOA by insisting Iran ‘make the first move’–even though it was the US that left the deal in 2018 while Iran was still in full compliance–it will be a sign that they aren’t as adept at diplomacy as they claim to be,” Stephen Walt, a professor of international affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, said in a tweet on Thursday.