The madness of slow Joe, Iran edition (16)

Negotiations with the Iranian regime facilitated by our Russian “friends” have culminated in a final text of a new nuke deal announced in Vienna this week on August 8. FDD’s Richard Goldberg reviews the state of play in the disheartening essay “Five minutes from disaster.” Under the terms of a new deal:

Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030, including the lifting of U.S. terrorism sanctions imposed on the top financiers of a group President Joe Biden recently reaffirmed as a terrorist organization: the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. As with the 2015 agreement, Iran would face no restrictions on its development of nuclear-capable missiles, its proliferation and sponsorship of terrorism throughout the Middle East, and its abuse of the Iranian people. And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Pompeo adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Emanuele Ottolenghi’s Tablet column “Totalitarians Inc.” supplements Goldberg’s essay. It is hard to understand the thinking behind the promotion of such a deal in terms of the national interest of the United States. Brain death doesn’t explain it. Suicidal self-delusion might do it.

The Biden administration waited until this week to unseal the August 5 criminal complaint against the IRGC operative charged with seeking the murder of former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton. The Iranian defendant was not in the United States and has not been taken into custody.

I can’t think of any reason other than the finalization of the prospective deal to have sealed the complaint. The defendant appears to be beyond the reach of American justice (“at large abroad,” in the terms of the press release linked below), and the defendant’s superiors in the IRGC chain of command remain unnamed and uncharged.

Bolton’s colleagues in the AEI office can’t be too thrilled with the plan as described in the charge. Moreover, the IRGC operative had a second (unnamed) target in mind. I gather it was Secretary Pompeo. It is apparent even from the Department of Justice press release on the case that the Iranians have operatives working on American soil.

The press release includes links to related materials and is posted here. The affidavit supporting the criminal complaint, for example, is posted here. The AP reported on the case here.

In an interview with FOX News digital reporter Brooke Singman, Bolton characterized the plot as an “act of war,” which of course it is, and called on Biden to give up the ghost of the deal with his prospective assassins. The AP quotes Bolton’s statement on the charge: “While much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable: Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists, and enemies of the United States.” The FOX News interview quotes Bolton on this salient point that remains implicit in the complaint:

“It is not just me,” Bolton said. “The regime in Tehran has targeted a lot of Americans.”

“The aim here is to kill Americans on American soil, and its former government officials,” Bolton explained. “This is a broad threat to private American citizens on American soil, and I think it is, essentially, unprecedented.”

The Biden administration cannot admit that the Iranian regime is at war with us any more than the Obama administration could. That “death to America” thing is simply boob bait for the Iranian bubbas, or something like that.

I’m afraid that this will not be the final installment of the Iran edition of this series. More to come.

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