Trump Says Biden 'Cravenly Lifted Iran Sanctions'
Former US President Donald Trump in of his few public appearances since leaving office called President Joe Biden’s foreign policy “shameful and embarrassing”, in particular criticizing his approach to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In a dinner of North Carolina Republican Convention June 5, Trump said, “Biden cravenly lifted sanctions on Iran. Oh, Iran. Oh. I would have had a deal in one week.”
Before Biden took office, he announced his intention to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that Trump had abandoned in 2018, calling the Obama-era agreement “a disaster”, and imposing hundreds of sanctions as part of hus “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran.
The Biden Administration embarked on indirect talks with Tehran in early April, but so far, no sanctions have been lifted. If the talks aimed at restoring compliance with the agreement succeed, at least part of the sanctions Trump imposed might be lifted.
Trump said that he would have made a new agreement with Iran in “one week” if he had been re-elected. “Now, they’re actually asking for money. Here we go again. Remember? They got $150 billion plus $1.8 billion in cash. Now, they’re actually asking for money. They never asked me for money. It’s unbelievable. It’s so sad to see,” Trump said.
In another part of the speech, Trump accused Biden of criticizing Israel during the 11-day military confrontation with Palestinian militants, saying, “he actually criticized Israel while the Jewish homeland was under attack by thousands and thousands of rockets and missiles launched by Iran. It was launched by Iran.”
Trump went on to claim that during his presidency “America was respected again,” and added, “We withdrew from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal…We decimated the ranks of the world’s top terrorists.”
Trump ordered the killing of Iran’s top Middle East operator general Qasem Soleimani in January 2020 in Baghdad, a move seen as a setback for Tehran’s relentless efforts to build influence in regional countries and create a network of armed proxy forces.
Congressional Republicans and others have been critical of Biden’s decision to return to the nuclear deal, or the JCPOA, as it is known, saying that lifting sanctions will embolden and enrich the Islamic Republic, enabling it to foment more unrest in the Middle East.
The Biden Administration argues that after the nuclear deal is revived, the United States and its European allies will pursue further talks to rein what is generally referred to as Iran’s “malign behavior”. But critics say that once US lifts sanctions and Iran can export oil, it will have no incentive to negotiate over other issues.