On COI #142, Kyle Anzalone breaks down Biden’s Iran policy. Trump took a stark turn from Obama when it came to Tehran. Rather than looking to build on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Trump tore the deal to shreds and embarked on a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign. With the destruction of the deal, US-Iran hostilities nearly erupted into a shooting war.
Biden entered office on vows to “restore normalcy” with Iran and significantly reduce tensions. Iran simply wanted to return to 2016, when Biden was Obama’s vice president. However, rather than agreeing to revive a deal he previously endorsed, Biden demanded additional concessions, though Iran predictably held firm in response.
Months passed by as the US took other aggressive actions, with Biden holding provocative war games and sending ships and planes to Iran’s doorstep. Biden only increased the sanctions and sold pirated Iranian oil, while the US sat idly by as its Middle East accomplice, Tel Aviv, sabotaged Iranian tanker ships and nuclear facilities.
Now, a hardliner has been elected as Iran’s president and the US is indicating it will not budge further, retaining most Trump-era sanctions. The nuclear deal appears to be dead, and even if it is saved, Iran’s hardliners will have struck a victory regardless.
Kyle discusses the US war in Afghanistan as CENTCOM ramps up airstrikes on the Taliban. Gen. McKenize refused to tell the American people if the bombs would stop falling after Biden’s declared withdrawal deadline at the end of August. Even as the US continues to strike Taliban targets, Secretary of State Antony Blinken lectured the militant group that there is “no military solution” to the conflict.
Biden and the Iraqi prime minister announced a change to the mission of US troops in Iraq. According to the agreement, American troops will remain in Iraq, but shift to a training only role by the end of the year. Some Shia figures in Iraq welcomed the agreement, however, rockets landed in Iraq’s Green Zone in the days after it was signed.
While Biden has brought some troops home from Afghanistan, and promised a mission change in Iraq, he plans to keep all 900 troops deployed to the occupation of northeastern Syria. The Biden administration also announces new sanctions against and an opposition rebel group.
Kyle also updates Israel’s war against Ben and Jerry’s. Tel Aviv has now launched its own “maximum pressure” campaign on the ice cream giant after it said it would halt sales in the occupied West Bank after 2022. The company’s decision was backed by its founders and namesakes.