President Joe Biden showed leadership and courage last week by flying into an active war zone to personify solidarity with America’s embattled friends and allies in Israel.

Too bad Biden’s appeasement of Iran made the trip necessary.

Perhaps Biden went to Tel Aviv to atone for his years of financial assistance to the ayatollahs. Biden’s folly—believing that kindness would tame the mullahs—exploded in his face on Oct. 7: Iran’s Hamas puppets shocked Israel with the most brutal attack that it has endured since the Yom Kippur War, almost 50 years earlier.

Biden’s “Fair Play for Tehran” policy has replenished Iran’s finances after then-President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign drained them. But rather than cooperation, Iran has shown Biden contempt. And its proxies, subsidized directly or fungibly with American cash, have killed at least 1,400 people in today’s war on Israel.

“The Biden administration’s decision to release $6 billion to Iran—the world’s leading state sponsor of terror—was a grave mistake that created a market for American hostages, emboldened our adversaries, and put a credit on the balance sheets of one of Hamas’ biggest backers,” Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., told Fox Business Network on Tuesday.

The Senate Banking Committee’s top Republican wants to freeze this massive ransom payment so Iran cannot tap it for “humanitarian aid,” shift an equal sum of fungible cash into, say, its Health Ministry, then siphon those resources from hospitals to Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Jew killers.

Fungibility is simple: Cigarettes are disgusting, and I never would subsidize a friend’s coffin nails. But if I bought him a case of beer weekly, he could channel his beer budget into smokes. I could avoid that by giving him a case of non-fungible beer weekly, rather than fungible beer money.

Even with a pounding hangover, any frat boy understands this. Too bad it’s beyond Biden’s grasp.

Alas, Biden has been the ayatollahs’ best friend since long before this $6 billion prisoner-swap payoff.

  • Biden relaxed sanctions on Iran, while obsessively demolishing anything that Trump had accomplished.
  • By letting the mullahs sell more oil, particularly to China (another international beauty), Iran’s oil production swelled from 2.7 million barrels per day on Dec. 31, 2020—just before Trump left office—to 3.4 million barrels on May 31 of this year—up 25.9%.
  • Biden’s war on domestic oil hiked prices. That, too, has gilded Tehran’s coffers. Brent crude averaged $57.96 per barrel under Trump and $83.84 on Biden’s watch, per the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That increased Iran’s oil revenue—up  44.65%.
  • As Iran International reported, “Iranian oil shipments began to pick up toward the end of 2020, as candidate Joe Biden announced in September of that year his intention to revive the 2015 [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action],” aka the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump rightly hurled atop the ash heap of history. Iran’s exports subsequently soared from a low of 100,000 barrels per day in 2020, according to Reuters, to 1.5 million barrels in August—up 1,400%.
  • Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe explained to Fox News Channel’s Trey Gowdy: “Iran’s access to foreign-exchange reserves went from $4 billion in the Trump administration to $72 billion in the Biden administration”—up 1,700%.

Ratcliffe’s $72 billion figure dovetails almost perfectly with the findings of The Heritage Foundation’s Tyler O’Neil. In an excellent, albeit maddening, Oct. 18 article for The Daily Signal, O’Neil carefully researched and clearly detailed his verdict on Biden’s Tehran policy: “The administration’s previous record already has translated to an extra $70 billion flowing to Iran’s ruling mullahs.”

Specifically, O’Neil calculates:

  • $1.6 billion in steel revenues: “The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s steel industry, which the Biden administration hasn’t enforced,” O’Neil wrote. “Iran received approximately $1.6 billion more under Biden than it might have under Trump.”
  • $3.42 billion in special drawing rights: “In August 2021, the [International Monetary Fund] sent $3.42 billion to Iran in special drawing rights,” O’Neil learned. “The Biden administration had the authority to oppose this allocation and did not do so.”
  • $3.8 billion in petrochemicals: Iran’s petrochemical sales have grown some 6% since Trump left office, yielding this 10-digit bonus.
  • $10 billion from Iraq: “In July, [Secretary of State Antony] Blinken signed a 120-day national security waiver allowing Iraq, which is heavily dependent on Iranian electricity, to deposit payments into non-Iraqi banks in third countries instead of into restricted accounts in Iraq, Reuters reported.
  • $52.2 billion in extra oil revenues: After detonating Trump’s “maximum pressure” initiative, “the Biden administration has undertaken fewer enforcement actions, and sanctions can atrophy when not enforced,” O’Neil concluded. “This translates to a $52.2 billion windfall.”

All told, O’Neil documents $71.02 billion that Biden has made available to his pals in Iran.

Biden’s inflationary pressure on gasoline and other prices has impoverished America, and even as he has enriched Iran.

The ayatollahs returned the favor by underwriting Hamas, which has killed 32 Americans in its war on Israel. Up to 11 others are missing and feared kidnapped.

The circle of strife is complete.

Biden did all of this, even while Iran topped the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“Iran has, unfortunately, always used and focused its funds on supporting terrorism, on supporting groups like Hamas,” Blinken said Oct. 8 on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“And it’s done that when there have been sanctions. It’s done that when there haven’t been sanctions. And it’s always prioritized that,” he said.

So, for the love of God, why would Biden send even one rusty penny to a nation that his own State Department certifies as terrorists?

This largesse might be worthy if it taught Iran some manners. Au contraire, during Biden’s misrule, Iran routinely attacks U.S. GIs. These bad deeds largely have gone unpunished.

Iran and its proxies have unleashed “about 83 attacks” against U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria under Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told a March 28 Senate hearing.

“We’ve launched four major retaliations,” Austin added.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wondered: “What kind of signal do we think this sends to Iran when they can attack us 83 times since Joe Biden became president, and we only respond four?”

Rather than gratitude, Iran repeatedly gives Biden black eyes. He resembles a battered husband: “The ayatollah beats me because he loves me!”

This all foreshadowed Oct. 7, which caught Israel napping. The Mossad has plenty to explain, and it will.

Hamas also surprised Team Biden. Alas, such things leave them dazed and confused:

  • “Two years ago, Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran Deal,” Biden said via Twitter on May 8, 2020. “This week, he vetoed a war powers resolution that would’ve prevented him from starting a war with Iran without congressional consent. His decisions have increased the risk of war in the Middle East.”

Umm, no.

Trump—the big, bad bully—obliterated the ISIS caliphate, droned Iranian terrorism master Qassem Soleimani, and sanctioned Iran like a boa constrictor. Hence, Iran laid low, Israel savored relative tranquility, and Trump brokered the Abraham Accords—four pacts normalizing relations between Israel and Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and Morocco.

Biden got Trump exquisitely wrong.

  • Blinken said about Afghanistan in June 2021: “If there is a significant deterioration in security, I don’t think it’s going to be something that happens from a Friday to a Monday.” In fact, Afghanistan unraveled, and the Taliban took Kabul, between Aug. 13 and 16, 2021—literally from a Friday to a Monday.


  • Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced on Sept. 30: “The Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades.”

Strike three. Yer out!

Biden replaced Trump’s Peace Through Strength approach with his own Softer Than Tapioca Doctrine. Biden’s weakness ignited the Middle East’s raging infernos.

Biden & Co. promised to reinstate “the grownups” after the Romper Room that reputedly was the Trump administration. But after 33 months of Biden’s “adult supervision,” Russia and Ukraine are locked in a Mexican standoff. The U.S.-Mexico “border” is dead (1848-2021). And Hamas’ war on Israel could escalate into World War III.

“The children” cannot return to power soon enough.

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.

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