Iranian Islamic Scholar Mohammad Bagher Ebadi called President Joe Biden a “second-class idiot” and said a return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal is a “pipe dream” if the United States does not annul all sanctions, in a televised speech broadcasted by the Middle East Media Research Institute this week.
“Unless the sanctions are completely annulled, returning to the JCPOA and completely implementing it are nothing but pipe dreams,” said Ebadi.
Ebadi continued on by saying the JCPOA negotiations had “only one benefit” for the Islamic Republic, which was to reveal to the Iranian people America’s nature “like the Leader has known it” to which Ebadi received thunderous chants of “Death to America!” from the audience.
Ebadi described President Biden as a “second-class idiot” who he hopes does “not follow in the footsteps of the first-class idiot,” referring to Trump.
To close, Ebadi attempted to play to Iranian hearts and minds by reminding the Iranian people that the future is theirs, ironically failing to acknowledge that the brutality of the Iranian regime is precisely what prevents the Iranian people from enjoying basic human rights and freedoms.
The Biden administration has taken a step back from the Trump-era maximum pressure strategy and is openly interested in re-establishing a nuclear agreement with Iran, but Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Senior Fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu points out that the administration has yet to completely dismantle Trump’s Iran sanctions, and “relative retention is a good thing.”
The Iranian regime continues to test Biden’s limits with “rocket strikes in Iraq, threats to maritime security, and of course, compounding violations of the JCPOA nuclear deal and even of its nuclear safeguards agreements with the IAEA,” which are intended “to expedite sanctions relief and to force Biden to budge,” said Taleblu to The Foreign Desk.
If the Biden administration folds to the regime’s pressure and decides to relieve all sanctions prior to Iran coming into compliance with the nuclear agreement, Taleblu worries that the U.S. will lose the leverage it currently has over the regime, making it nearly impossible to manage Iran’s nuclear threat.
“What would be the point of Iran offering concessions in return if relief can be achieved absent a change in behavior? And if sanctions are lifted, what leverage would the U.S. have to deal with Iran’s growing non-nuclear threats,” said Taleblu, emphasizing that Iran’s threats “have steadily grown since 2015 and put U.S. assets, interests, and allied security at risk.”
In February, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that the U.S. must withdraw all sanctions “imposed, re-imposed or re-labeled by Trump,” despite the fact that Iran began its escalation of nuclear agreement breaches during the Obama administration, and only then would Iran “reverse all remedial measures.”