The Biden administration’s $6 billion hostage deal with Iran is a big story, but the public version is for chumps. I fell for it, and perhaps that assessment is overly harsh on similarly situated citizens who follow the news. The real deal hasn’t been covered in the news and the administration has deftly lied about it.
Rich Goldberg is a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. From 2019-2020, he served as the Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction for the White House National Security Council. He is also an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve with military experience on the Joint Staff and in Afghanistan. He knows what he is talking about.
FDD has posted Goldberg’s recent column “Biden has a secret, illegal deal with Iran that gives mullahs everything they want” (with links). This is the heart of the column:
In May, a top White House official visited Oman to pass a message to Tehran: Washington wants to broker a nuclear deal in secret.
Biden would lift sanctions restrictions on Iranian funds held outside its borders, and in exchange Iran would slow its steady march toward a nuclear-weapons threshold.
Iran would be free to continue hunting former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, former Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook and other Americans.
Tehran could keep directing attacks against Israel through its Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror proxies.
The mullahs could keep providing armed drones to Vladimir Putin for use against the Ukrainian people.
The regime could even keep producing high-enriched uranium just a stone’s throw from weapons-grade, manufacturing advanced centrifuges, developing longer-range missiles, denying access to international nuclear inspectors and constructing a new underground facility that could prove invulnerable to military action.
Biden’s only demands: Don’t move across the nuclear threshold by producing weapons-grade uranium and release five American citizens held hostage in Iran.
For Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the deal was a dream come true.
On the nuclear front, Iran gives up nothing. The United Nation’s nuclear watchdog last week reported that Iran is still expanding its stockpile of high-enriched uranium, just at a slower rate.
As for the five American hostages — at a cost of $1.2 billion a person — Khamenei will merely restock his collection of American hostages for a future extortion racket.
Meanwhile, Iran gets to use billions of dollars in budget support to subsidize a wide range of illicit activities.
In June and July, the Biden administration unfroze more than $10 billion of Iranian assets held in Iraq, allowing Baghdad to move payments for Iranian electricity into accounts in Oman established for Tehran’s use — payments that will continue on a rolling basis.
Now comes $6 billion more transferred to accounts in Qatar, providing the regime additional budget support.
Multiple reports also suggest Washington is allowing Tehran to trade $7 billion in International Monetary Fund special drawing rights for fiat currency.
At the same time, US officials now admit they’re allowing Iranian oil exports to China to skyrocket with estimates ranging from 1.4 to 2.2 million barrels per day flowing in August — their highest levels since President Donald Trump ended America’s participation in the old Iran nuclear deal.
Conservative estimates put this sanctions relief at $25 billion in annual revenue. Iran is now eyeing the transfer of another $3 billion from Japan.
All told, this is at least a $50 billion protection racket — not just a $6 billion hostage payment.
Goldberg explains the deal in more compelling detail in Dan Senor’s recent Call Me Back podcast (below). This is worth your time.