Vienna International Centre, where IAEA offices are located
Vienna International Centre, where IAEA offices are locatediStock

War, said Napoleon, is a contest of blunders. The side that commits fewer blunders wins the war. ‘Blunder Joe’ could be one epitaph to the President’s shambolic record. Robert Gates gave America fair warning. The Defence Secretary under Barak Obama once pointed out that Biden had “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over four decades.”

Another epitaph may not be so kind. And that spells trouble. Of all murky lunacies, redoing a failed pact is the most devious, the most comic, the most perilous. When a superpower leader makes a pact with a regime unsurpassed for evil, resorting to corrupt concessions, he gets the epitaph, ‘Evil Weasel’ by merit.

Campaign promises go for a dime a dozen. It is therefore to his permanent discredit that Biden kept three promises. They are, in order of malignancy and destructive power:

-Biden kneecapped “dirty” energy and let other countries sell America theirs.

-He threw open the Mexican border, winking at all and sundry to come across.

-He dusted off a nuclear pact over which both sides had cheated their pants off.

Two of those acts put America at risk. The final act puts the world at risk. Biden implemented all three in a fit of partisan spite. Because Trump had done X, he scrapped X and did Y the opposite. Because Trump set aside the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal, imposed sanctions and had mullahs twitching at the end of a rope, Biden reinstated the deal, cut the mullahs loose and invited them to replay the game.

In Vienna the cheaters on both sides discussed how to give Iran what it wants. They found a way: remove every last sanction, if the mullahs will cross their hearts never to cheat again. In Vienna as it was in Lausanne, Washington was the beggar and Tehran the teaser and tantalizer.

And the obvious poser is never asked. Why rescue and resuscitate a flailing wounded beast?

Iran was in better shape when Obama coddled it; even so he had the excuse of following a dream. Though self-absorbed and duplicitous he meant to help Iran be a regional power – an undeclared motive.

Another thing Obama failed to declare was that, as a condition for playing footsy under the table with Caliphate fanatics, he had to let them get away with mass murder.

Biden peeked at his poker hand and raised it. He removed sanctions and officially pardoned the butchers of Tehran. Take Mohsen Rezaei, the mastermind behind the bombing of AMIA in Buenos Aries. Argentine has international warrants for his arrest, and he’s on Interpol’s Red Notice. A second mastermind behind the atrocity is Ali Akbar Velayati who gets the same Biden treatment: forgive and forget.

The architect of the ‘New worst deal in history’ is prepared to pass even that point of degradation. He did the unthinkable and forgave the murderers of his own countrymen. Hossein Dehghan led the Revolutionary Guards; as such he had oversight of Hezbollah at the time it bombed the Marines compound in Beirut, killing 241 Americans, 58 Frenchmen and wounding hundreds more.

Biden’s pending pact crashes every constraint that the UN and Trump as President put in place. The Iranian banks and businesses which finance the machinery of repression are to be de-sanctioned. He’s going to cut the fetters from the whole regime, its every dark cupboard of skeletons.

To what magnificent end is such magnanimity? Why all the forgiving and forgetting? Will it help the world get a surer handle on Iran’s nuclear cheating? Not one bit. The whole caboodle is unrelated to the Mullahs’ furtive doings.

Trump officials made the purposes of the onerous sanctions the President imposed in 2019 quite clear. They were not meant to punish Iran for its nuclear program. The sanctions had an entirely different purpose. They punished Iran for destabilizing the Middle East, for its global terrorism and ballistic missile development. The latter can now reach the US, something Iran boasts about. "American Soil Is Now Within the Range of Iranian Bombs", ran the headline of an August 15, 2020 report by state-controlled Afkar News.

Therefore Biden lifting sanctions under the umbrella of a nuclear deal is a blatant and dirty cover up.

Nuclear deal! What came out of Vienna was less a deal and more an appeasement pact. Biden unshackled crazy nihilists for no honest rhyme or reason.

Did he have a dishonest rhyme and reason?

It is difficult to know the right word for Biden’s reported reliance on Russia to negotiate for America. Would it be ‘wicked’ or ‘treacherous – or both?’A President would go that far? Though it seems beyond the realm of absurdity, yes Biden would because it fits the known facts.

Fact one is that Russia alone had the power to halt the parley in Vienna. On March 11 an indefinite “pause” in the talks was announced. Joseph Borrell, the EU’s foreign-policy chief, blamed it on “external factors”. By this he meant that Russia had upended the process after a demand made by its foreign minister,

Sergei Lavrov, was rejected. He’d insisted that Russia’s ties with Iran be exempt from the sanctions imposed on Russia for waging war on Ukraine. Even Iran got cross with Putin. The foreign minister took a rare swipe at him, saying that Iran would not allow “any foreign parties to undermine its national interest”.

Quite outlandish arrangements in Vienna gave Russia the power to crash the deal. One was the Iranians’ refusal to talk with the American contingent. Biden’s team was not even allowed in the room. His Special Envoy, Robert Malley, had to speak to Russian negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov. The latter would then weigh Malley’s position and speak with the negotiators from UK, France, Germany and China. Ulyanov then went back to the negotiating table, only to capitulate to most of Iran’s demands.

In other words, Biden egregiously outsourced America’s security to its arch enemy and Iran’s firm ally, Vladimir Putin.

Another arrangement which enabled Russia to pull the plug on deal-making was a unique clause. Obama’s 2015 nuclear accord restricted Iran to holding 300kg of uranium enriched to 3.67% purity. Any quantity above the limit has to be shipped to Russia and stored there. It makes the perfect case of ‘putting the fox to guard the hen house.’

Not only has Russia been negotiating on behalf of the US, Biden agreed to waive $10 billion in sanctions he just finished imposing on Russia for invading Ukraine. With the money Russia is to build nuclear reactors for Iran.

So Putin, for all his military and economic woes, is sitting quite nicely. True, he cannot veto the nuclear deal. The other parties could sign one without him. Problem is, that would entail new and difficult negotiations to find another custodian for Iran’s nuclear fuel.

No one should be surprised that Vladimir Putin is unimpressed with America’s deterrent power. To the Russian bear Joe Biden is like a kitten.

A dirty finger in the rotten pie has imparted a real bad smell. This is the finger of Biden’s chief negotiator, Robert Malley. He could hardly have selected a man less fit for the purpose. Alternatively, he could hardly have picked a man more fit to play the charade.

Malley spat bias from the moment Biden appointed him. “We are prepared to remove all of the sanctions that were imposed by the Trump administration,” he said. On top there’s Mr Malley’s well known liking for Iran and his well known enmity for Israel.

Biden knew his background. Malley had worked for a Mr Ali Vaez at the International Crisis Group. Vaez, essentially a foreign agent for Iran, defended its nuclear program, attacked sanctions on it, and had nothing but praise for leader Ebrahim Raisi known as “the butcher of Tehran” for his part in the murder of tens of thousands of dissidents starting in the late 1980s and ongoing.

Malley, Biden also had to know, is as anti-Semitic as they come. His ties to Iran’s terror proxies Hezbollah and Hamas prove it. In 2008 Obama dropped him from the presidential campaign after it emerged that he had contacts with groups which exist for one purpose: to kill Jews.

“It’s a mistake” Malley said, “to think of Hamas and Hezbollah only as terrorist groups.”

Biden made a grave mistake, if indeed it was, picking an evil character to do the best for America.

It is further noteworthy that Biden supported him against other negotiators who resigned because of Malley’s conviviality with the Iranian contingent. And, as Caroline Glick points out, “Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett refused to meet with (Malley) during his visit to Israel. Biden was outraged, and took his revenge by refusing to speak with the Israeli premier for months.”

Biden’s people won’t share any details of the devilish deal with Congress. It’s no wonder, given what we’ve learnt.

And Israel? Of course Israel was not represented in Vienna. It deserved to have been, given that Iran has prioritised it for extermination.

And there Biden sits, plugging the Green Deal while pinning hopes on Iran and Venezuela to supply the oil that America used to get from Russia before Biden punished it for making war. And Russia threatens to break off diplomatic relations with the USA.

And all the while Putin and the Mullahs lick their chops in anticipation of holding America to ransom over energy.

Who are the devils in the nuclear cauldron and who the witches boiling the brew may never be entirely known.

Steve Apfelis an authority on both anti-Zionism and Covid / public health policy, having authored scores of essays, two books and a manuscript. His works on nuclear deals give both a deep and a cross-sectional understanding. His blog Balaam’s curse is viewed in over 15 countries on five continents.