Biden’s Iran Policy Hurts American Interests and Allies


The Biden administration’s reactions to two seemingly unrelated incidents—following an intensification in its maximum pressure campaign aimed at restraining Israel, including by possibly instigating a coup against its prime minister—highlight the president’s unwavering dedication to an “Iran First” agenda that jeopardizes America and its allies.

The first incident was when Iran’s president and foreign minister, among others, reportedly died in a helicopter crash on May 20, during a return trip from the Iran-Azerbaijan border. Ebrahim Raisi, the eighth president of Iran, was one of the casualties. Despite his death, Raisi, known as the “Butcher of Tehran” for his brutal reputation, leaves a world arguably better off without him.

The administration’s initial reaction was to ensure Iran understood the U.S. did not assassinate Raisi, in order to avoid Tehran’s wrath. Fear drove the administration to appease, treating Raisi like any other deceased foreign leader. This appeasement was clumsy, suggesting that being overly conciliatory could have made the Biden administration look even more suspicious. The State Department extended its “official condolences.”

When the United Nations Security Council held a moment of silence for Raisi, U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood stood in solidarity with adversaries to honor him.

Raisi, a U.S.-sanctioned should-have-been-pariah and potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, oversaw the execution of thousands of political prisoners in the 1980s, suppressed the Green Movement protests in 2009, and brutally repressed the “Woman, Life, Freedom” protesters in recent years. This list does not exhaust the terror Raisi caused.

When questioned on why the administration offered sympathies to the state sponsor of jihad despite Raisi’s record of terrorizing countless innocents, White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said:

No question this was a man who had a lot of blood on his hands. That said, as we would in any other case, we certainly regret in general the loss of life, and offered official condolences as appropriate.

Iran knew the U.S. was not involved in the crash, as this would have contradicted over a decade of Obama-Biden policies meant to placate the mullahs.

In fact, Iran sought American assistance in the recovery effort. The Biden administration was willing to comply, though it proved “unable” to help due to purported logistical issues. Previously, Washington had essentially tipped off Tehran about an impending Islamic State attack in January. We now also know the Biden administration has maintained a robust backchannel to Iran.

The Biden administration worked diligently to de-link Iran from the Oct. 7 attack and prevented Israel from striking Iran-backed Hezbollah, leaving tens of thousands of Israelis displaced in their own country for over half a year. Biden imposed superficial sanctions on the Iran-backed Houthis while allowing oil revenues to continue flowing into Tehran and offering sanctions waivers, further supporting the regime’s harmful activities. The administration also distanced itself from an Israeli-attributed strike on Iranian military leaders in Syria, preceding Iran’s direct attack on Israel.

The administration’s actions, from condolences for Raisi to condemnation of the ICC, appear driven by a desire to maintain diplomatic niceties towards antagonists in international forums.

Meanwhile, shortly after Raisi’s death, International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan announced applications for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, alongside three Hamas leaders. Khan alleges Netanyahu and Gallant are responsible for crimes against humanity, placing Israel’s wartime leaders on par with Hamas’ terror network.

In a lesser-noticed act, Khan delegitimized Israel compared to its adversaries, referring to “crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Israel and the State of Palestine” (emphasis mine).

This Biden administration has similarly criticized Israel over its war actions, contributing to the allegations at the heart of the warrant applications.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s response to the ICC stated:

Fundamentally, this decision does nothing to help, and could jeopardize, ongoing efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement that would get hostages out [of Gaza] and surge humanitarian assistance in, which are the goals the United States continues to pursue relentlessly.

The persecution of Israel’s leaders is likely to unify the country behind the Netanyahu government, something its opponents lament, making Israel more determined to destroy Hamas and win the war.

The White House wants Israel to end the Gaza war and cede control to U.S.-favored forces, potentially sympathetic to Hamas. This would cement Iran’s influence over areas surrounding Israel, isolating it and threatening its existence to elevate Iran as the regional power.

The administration is reportedly involved in internal challenges to Netanyahu by key Israeli figures, over war and post-war plans. Rumors indicate direct collusion with Iran in these efforts.

More immediately, the Biden administration seeks to halt the war in Gaza to keep the region quiet, fearing an escalation that could spike oil prices, damage the U.S. economy, and hurt Biden’s chances in the 2025 elections.

This urgency may overshadow concerns about losing support from Muslim voters, which could be an unsound calculation, and longer-term goals of positioning Iran as the regional strong horse, whether driven by malevolence, naivete, or greed.

Nonetheless, “Iran First” sentiment seems to guide the administration, from offering condolences for Raisi to condemning the ICC to supporting an attempted coup against Netanyahu.

America’s national interest suffers as a result of this intervention on behalf of the primary state sponsor of jihad.

Ben Weingarten
Ben Weingarten
Senior Contributor. Ben is editor at large for RealClearInvestigations, columnist at Newsweek, and a contributor to the New York Post and Epoch Times, among other publications.

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