The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) swarmed and harassed two US Coast Guard ships in the Persian Gulf earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing Navy officials.
The most recent incident occurred on April 11th and lasted three hours, involving bridge to bridge communication between the US ships and their Iranian counterparts. The US vessels ended up firing warning shots resulting in the Iranian vessels backing off.
Harassment between the IRGC and US ships is nothing new, however the timing of the incident puts into question the Biden administration’s involvement in the Vienna nuclear talks.
If the participation wasn’t bad enough, the Biden team is actively thinking about removing all nuclear related sanctions on Iran in order to seal the nuclear deal. This would upend Israel’s security and essentially hand the Ayatollahs hegemonic control over the Middle East.
“Any return to the JCPOA would require sanctions relief, but we are considering removing only those sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price. “Even if we rejoin the JCPOA — which remains a hypothetical — we would retain and continue to implement sanctions on Iran for activities not covered by the JCPOA, including Iran’s missile proliferation, support for terrorism, and human rights abuses.”
All of this is happening on the backdrop of constant attacks by Iran or Iranian affiliated groups on American assets in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The Biden team is essentially negotiating with America’s enemy, while the enemy is still firing on the US.
“The administration is looking to allow tens of billions of dollars into the coffers of the regime even if it means lifting sanctions on major entities blacklisted for terrorism and missile proliferation,” said Mark Dubowitz, a prominent Iran deal critic and CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“They’re even looking to give the regime indirect access to the U.S. dollar through the U.S. financial system so that international companies can clear transactions with Iran through the U.S. dollar.”
With a change of guard in Israel’s leadership growing more apparent by the day, the first thing a new government in Jerusalem will have to contend with is whether it will lead Israel of the plank of America’s sinking Middle East ship.
Then again, depending on the make up of the new government, the Biden administration may opt to throw Israel of its sinking ship itself.