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Biden lacks coherent strategy on Iran that is ‘weeks’ from building nuclear bomb, aids Russia

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The Biden administration has been unable to promote a coherent strategy for dealing with Iran, focusing on rekindling the nuclear deal signed under former President Obama as the country closes in on nuclear weapons capability and provides aid to Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. 

“Iran is on the threshold of acquiring a nuclear weapon,” James Phillips, the senior research fellow for foreign policy at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News. “They already have enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb within weeks.”

Phillips’ warning comes as President Biden made a trip to the Middle East last week, in part to address the growing threat Iran poses to the region’s security. The trip came just before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Iran, a sign of the two countries strengthening ties as Russia’s war with Ukraine continues.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was quickly condemned by Biden, who led a charge to punish the Kremlin with sanctions meant to cripple its economy and isolate it from the rest of the world. The White House also led a worldwide effort to support Ukraine militarily, sending billions of dollars of military and humanitarian aide aimed at helping defend against Russian aggression.

However, the U.S. has taken little concrete action to deter Iranian efforts to assist Russia or destabilize the Middle East, something Phillips blames on the administration’s efforts to resurrect the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, largely known as the Iran nuclear deal.

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Critics have accused members of the Biden administration, some of whom previously served in the Obama administration, of attempting to return to the deal as a way to secure the former president’s legacy.

“There are many in the Biden administration who view reaching a nuclear deal with Iran as a legacy item dating back to their time in the Obama administration and appear willing to throw the United States into a pact with Iran that is even worse than the original,” Rep. Lee Zeldein, R-N.Y. wrote earlier this year in an op-ed for The Hill.

Zeldin argued another flaw in the current administration’s push for a deal is that any true treaty must be ratified by Congress, making the pact Biden is working on nonbinding to any future administrations.

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Observers say the administration’s lack of clarity was on display as they floated the idea of a return to the Iran nuclear deal as a way to lower gas prices at the pump.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman recently framed the return of the deal as a way to bolster the global oil supply. “They would get sanctions relief,” she said. “They would improve their economy and sell their oil again, and the world needs their oil, so they could get a good price for it. It’s all in their interest to do this.”

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However, little has been done to curtail Iranian aggression, even as the country continues to provide support to the Russian war effort. Earlier this month, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan revealed that intelligence indicates Iran had already or was close to sending Russia “hundreds” of unmanned aerial vehicles, including weapons-capable drones, to assist in military operations in Ukraine.

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Iran, which has grown a highly sophisticated drone operation over the last two decades that have struck U.S. missile defense systems and Saudi oil refineries, is expected to provide training to Russian forces on proper operations of the drones as early as this month.

The move has not gone unnoticed by Republican lawmakers, who have called on the administration to act more forcefully against Iran.

“Iran’s UAVs were already destabilizing the Middle East through attacks by Iran and its proxies before Iran extended its malign activities to help Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News. “We cannot tolerate these two malign actors working together against security and stability around the world. That’s why I introduced the bipartisan Stop Iranian Drones Act, which clarifies that U.S. sanctions on Iran’s conventional weapons proliferation include UAVs.”

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