Only Joe Biden can save the mullahs running Iran
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is the Iran lobby in the United States. It operates in the open and with astonishing audacity in pushing the agenda of Iran's radical theocracy. During the months preceding the signing of the Iran nuclear deal, representatives of the NIAC made a total of 33 visits to the Obama White House to discuss the topic. During that time frame, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, a former member of NIAC, served as the Iran director for President Obama's National Security Council (NSC). If you have ever wondered why the deal seemed almost as if it had been written by the Iranians themselves, in large measure, it was.
NIAC loves the new draft Democratic Party platform. In fact, only days ago, it sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee applauding the party's call for a return to the Iran deal and an end to the "Muslim ban." The letter also castigated the Trump administration for its policies toward Iran. NIAC no doubt also rejoiced in the fact that the platform specifically opposes American involvement in "regime change."
Why? Why is the lobbying arm of a hostile foreign government applauding the political platform of an American political party and interjecting itself into our internal electoral politics?
The answer is that the Trump administration's policies toward Iran are working. In fact, the hard line that Trump has taken against the ayatollahs in Tehran has had an unprecedented economic, political, and military impact. The Iranian revolutionary regime that has terrorized the Middle East for decades may not survive another four years. If Iran's leaders cannot find a way to relieve the pressure, their days are certainly numbered.
Sanctions have made it virtually impossible for Iran to sell oil. Without those revenues, Iran's entire revolutionary machine grinds to a halt. It cannot subsidize Hezb'allah. It cannot arm the Houthis in Yemen. It cannot finance the Revolutionary Guard.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration is relentlessly closing the few loopholes that remain in sanctions and hunting down those who seek to evade them and continue to move Iranian oil. Companies that are complicit in Iranian oil sales to Venezuela, for instance, are now in danger of having their vessels and assets seized.
The arms embargo has relegated the Iranian military to the permanent status of a third-rate force. While the United States and its allies field F-35 stealth jets and are moving aggressively into networked formations of unmanned aerial vehicles, Iran continues to rely on an air force composed of 1980s vintage aircraft that are poorly maintained and only marginally capable. The same disparity exists with regard to all other branches of the military.
The Iranians are also now faced with reinvigorated American alliances not only with Israel, but also with Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Gulf Arab states. A new generation of Arab leaders, principally in Saudi Arabia, is moving to expand women's rights, curb terrorism, and move in the direction of ending the once seemingly intractable Arab-Israeli conflict as well as the war in Yemen. An isolated Iran run by men mired in the thinking of the 7th century A.D. is face to face with an alliance of modern, prosperous Middle Eastern states allied with the world's only remaining superpower.
The cumulative impact of the Trump administration's policies inside Iran has been dramatic. The ayatollahs, faced with the coronavirus, protests and strikes, and the sabotage of important infrastructure elements, are resorting to draconian measures to cling to power. Only the widespread use of false imprisonment, torture, and lethal force has quelled rioting all across the nation. The calm is only temporary. The ground underneath the feet of Iran's leaders is catching fire.
Commenting on NIAC's endorsement of the Democratic platform, Richard Grenell, former director of National Intelligence, had this to say: "Yikes. The Iranian regime's lobby endorses the Democrat's platform. [Joe Biden] has a huge problem." Indeed, Biden has a considerable amount of explaining to do to the American people. A Democrat presidential platform that is applauded by a brutal, medieval regime that has killed hundreds of Americans and spreads worldwide terror must be viewed with suspicion at best. It is the equivalent of having ISIS endorse your candidacy.
From the viewpoint of the clerics and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps generals who run Iran today, though, it is they who have the problem. The resolve demonstrated by the Trump administration is crushing the life out of one of the world's most brutal and reprehensible regimes. Vacillation and weakness have been replaced by relentless, suffocating pressure. Iran's leaders are hanging on by their fingernails. Biden is their only hope.