As the seasons change and Republicans gain the majority in the House of Representatives, it is time to turn a new leaf on presidential personnel, starting with Iran. The Biden administration’s approach to Iran has been flawed from the onset. Not only were they seeking to reenter a nuclear agreement that did not benefit our national security in any way, but they tasked a special envoy for Iran who has been an abject failure at that task. Rob Malley is not trusted by Iranians or Americans and the ayatollah’s regime does not fear him. He must go.
This administration’s Russian-brokered negotiations with Iran have had a predictably disastrous consequence for the free world: an emboldened Iran. Most people would agree that providing sanctions relief to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism would be an ineffective tool to curb Iran’s aggression; that is unless you are President Joe Biden or Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley. In fact, the drawdown of sanctions enforcement alone by the Biden administration has had the exact opposite effect.
Don’t believe me? Ask the Ukrainian citizens who now face attacks from Iranian drones launched by the Russian armed forces. Ask Salman Rushdie, who suffered life-changing injuries from his attempted assassination inspired by an Iranian fatwa. Ask the innocent civilians of the Persian Gulf who continue to face the attacks from Houthi missiles. And ask the Israeli citizens who practically share a zip code with Hezbollah precision guided munitions.
Yet, the Biden administration will not formally back away from negotiations; they’ve instead maintained the status quo of minimal pressure, letting the regime increase its foreign exchange holdings by over 1,000% in 22 short months. Our current Iran policy is one of gross negligence that endangers Americans and our allies. In a recent interview, Malley said that he won’t make any apologies for the administration’s posturing with Iran, despite the multiple political appointees and career diplomats who have resigned from Biden’s negotiating team in protest. The deal Malley negotiated and still offers Iran will increase Iranian aggression, supercharge their terror funding, and will not prevent the regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
This administration’s policy of appeasement has global consequences that will make the turbulent geopolitical landscape even more violent. America is not deterring Iran. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas recently testified to Congress that "the Iranian regime across multiple vectors has become more aggressive, more brazen and more dangerous." Look no further than the recent news of continued credible threats to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s life. No plaudits from European diplomats are worth the continued carnage that will result from a nuclear deal and the appeasement of the ayatollah’s regime.
The people of Iran need to be supported, not ignored. Malley’s execution of the administration’s failed policy has left them feeling abandoned and even further from the liberty they seek at great personal risk. Furthermore, Malley’s misrepresentation of the Iranian people’s aspirations for freedom is inexcusable. Removing Malley as special envoy for Iran would signal a return to sanity and would send a message to Tehran that business as usual is over. New leadership is sorely needed.
In conjunction with ending Malley’s tenure and enforcing existing U.S. sanctions, snapping back UN sanctions lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and providing tangible support to the people of Iran, there is a path to returning Iran policy to a bipartisan consensus. The risks of the alternative policy of appeasement are presenting themselves on multiple fronts. If this administration wishes to reverse their failed Iran policy, Biden can start by firing Malley. Otherwise, I fear that the continuation of the status quo will be disastrous for the people of Iran and for the national security of the American people.