WH Has 'NO PLAN' For New Nuclear Threat

By Emanuel Eisen | Friday, 27 May 2022 16:45
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According to President Joe Biden's point man for nuclear discussions with the rogue regime, U.S. forces do not have a military strategy to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

“By far the best option is a diplomatic one, and [the] military option cannot resolve this issue,” State Department special envoy Rob Malley said Wednesday during a Senate hearing. "It could set it back, and we're happy to talk about it more in a classified setting, but there is no military response. ... The only real solution is a diplomatic one."

That statement helped account for Malley’s continuing participation in a slow negotiation over the rehabilitation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a method that has protracted in defiance of echoed U.S. claims that the option would close itself if Iran declined. Yet Malley’s assessment did little to clarify the administration’s “Plan B” in the event that the talks fail, as he acknowledged they are likely to do, in the face of bipartisan pressure to move on from the talks.

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“Let me ask you this: Why is it that we are still keeping the door open?” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) asked Malley. “Because I get no sense of what that plan is. ... What is the plan?”

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Malley praied an array of sanctions enforcement maneuvers undertaken by the administration, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s announcement during the hearing of a crackdown on an “oil smuggling and money laundering network led by” a senior official in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps's Quds Force, to argue that the administration has not allowed the other threats posed by the regime to fester during the nuclear talks.

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“We're not waiting to see what happens with the negotiations to take action on all of the issues that you raised,” he said. “But all of these problems would be much worse and much more difficult and much more interesting if Iran were a threshold state on the verge of acquiring a nuclear bomb.”

That answer failed to satisfy Menendez, who had recalled in his opening statement Blinken’s assessment in January that “if a deal is not reached in the next few weeks, Iran’s ongoing nuclear advances will make it impossible to return to the JCPOA,” as the 2015 nuclear deal is known.

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“In short, Iran has dragged out this process, driving up its demands and exerting its leverage, convincing the world that the United States wants the JCPOA more than the Iranian regime does,” Menendez said in his opening statement. “After months of negotiations, this is the Iran we must contend with, not the Iran you hoped would be driven by practical considerations at the bargaining table.”

Sen. James Risch (R-ID), the senior Republican on the committee, repeated Menendez’s complaint about the continuation of the talks.

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