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Biden’s Iran Deal: It’s All About the Oil

By Kenneth R. Timmerman

President Joe Biden with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

The on-again, off-again Iran nuclear negotiations are on once again, White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said on Sunday.

“We’re talking about diplomacy to prevent Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon,” Sullivan told CBS News “Face the Nation.”

Just two weeks earlier, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called Iran’s latest demands in the negotiations “a step backward,” making a deal “unlikely.” So what is really going on?

The Iranians want the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to shelve its investigation into Iran’s undeclared uranium enrichment activities because they know a thorough investigation would reveal their intent to build nuclear weapons. They figured they could get the U.S. to cave into their demands, just as we did when John Kerry was leading the U.S. negotiating team in 2015.

Sullivan’s latest statement suggests the White House is ready to cave, and revives the same fear-mongering Kerry used in 2015: it’s the deal or all-out war.

It wasn’t true in 2015 – as we saw when President Trump withdrew from the deal three years later. And it isn’t any more true today.

So why is the White House so intent on a deal? House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy thinks he knows why.

“Are they trying to get Iranian oil back into the market to try to lower the gas price?” he asked Maria Bartiromo on Fox News Sunday Morning Futures earlier this month.

Noting that the administration “has not briefed anyone” on the negotiations, he argued that Democrats believe a dramatic drop in gasoline prices would dramatically increase their chances in the mid-term elections. And he could be right.

Israel has been observing the body language in Washington with increasing trepidation. Israeli interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid reportedly provided hot new intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier this month – information so sensitive that it caused Germany, France, and the United Kingdom to issue a statement expressing “serious doubts” over Iran’s sincerity in the ongoing negotiations.

“We gave information to the Europeans that proved that the Iranians are lying while talks are still happening,” an Israeli official told the Times of Israel.

It’s astonishing that any analyst capable of reading at a 6th grade level could conclude any differently, and yet the pro-Tehran lobbyists in Washington and their consorts in the media continue to lie, claiming that Iran is not a threat or just the opposite: that a U.S. refusal to conclude a deal means war. (The inconsistency doesn’t seem to bother anyone on the Left).

Information on Iran’s nuclear weapons intentions has been publicly available for over thirty years. I was involved in the early 1990s in making some of it public in a ground-breaking report for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The Iranians predictably howled, calling the report Zionist propaganda and me an Israeli spy during a live segment on ABC Nightline.

As I recount in a new memoir, And the Rest is History, when I offered to Iran’s then United Nations ambassador, Kamal Kharazi, to lead a team of non-governmental experts to Iran to investigate – and potentially whitewash Iran – he brushed it aside. “Mister Timmerman, if you come to Iran we will keep you for a very long time,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Israelis continue to provide information from Iran’s secret Nuclear Archive to governments and researchers. Their most recent revelation involves photographs of a fourth underground site used in “explosive testing of nuclear weapons components.” They also produced a table detailing 192 underground tests.

These are not the activities of a country seeking to build nuclear power plants. But the Biden administration remains hell-bent on concluding a deal. And it’s all about the oil.

Ship-tracking firms estimate that Iran has stockpiled anywhere from 60 to 93 million barrels in crude oil and condensate in tankers in the Persian Gulf, off Singapore, and near China, Bloomberg reported recently.  That oil “could be swiftly dispatched to buyers in the event an agreement gets hammered out,” Bloomberg added.

While it could take weeks or even months for Iran to find buyers and insurance to move all that oil to markets, nevertheless it represents an enormous surge in global oil supplies — nearly half of what the U.S. pledged to release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves.

The SPR releases are widely credited with bringing oil prices down over the past three months, with gasoline now at $3.72/gallon on average nationwide, instead of well over $5.00.

The releases had been scheduled to end in mid-October but the Biden White House recently extended them through mid-November – a cynical move to cushion the blow of higher prices right before the mid-term elections.

Not only would the release of Iran’s floating stockpiles contribute to reducing oil prices in the near term, a new nuclear deal would allow Iran to return as a “normal” exporter, increasing the flow of Iranian oil “by between 500,000 bpd to 1 bpd,” according to analysts.

That would likely drive the price per barrel back into the $65 range – and remove a big pocket book issue Republicans had been hoping to use in November and beyond. It’s hard to imagine a more cynical motive for recklessly endangering U.S. national security.

[Ken Timmerman’s 12th book of non-fiction, And the Rest is History: Tales of Hostages, Arms Dealers, Dirty Tricks, and Spies,  was recently released by Post Hill Press. Timmerman was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 and has covered the Middle East for 40 years.]

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Michael Lewis
2 months ago

America only need return to Trump policies to achieve energy independence and cheap gas a the pump. It is not necessary to court an enemy and allow nuclear proliferation. If allowed to create atomic weapons, Iran will use them on the US and Israel!

America and Israel forever
2 months ago

The Bidenites remain hell-bent on enabling Iran to acquire nuclear weapons to achieve a 2nd Holocaust against the Jewish People, just so they can try to reduce gas prices (via Iran dumping oil on world markets) without the US becoming energy independent again, as it was under President Trump. 
The Bidenites think this can help the Democrats in the mid-terms and beyond. They are willing to trade our national security, and Israel’s existence, for votes to maintain their “One-Party rule”. For their part, the Iranian Mullahs believe that if they launch a nuclear war on Israel, it will speed up the return of their Messiah (ie. the 12th Imam who they believe has been in hiding for centuries), ushering in their end-day scenario of leading the world under the banner of their Shiite revolution. They are religious zealots who don’t care if millions of their own people die in such a war.

William C Smith
2 months ago

It’s all about the history books with this guy and his understanding of who will write them.

2 months ago

This idiot shuts down obaur own oil industry and gets in bed with the middle east.
We were oppressed by OPEC for 30 years and finally worked our way out of it
20 years ago. What under the table payment requires that we kiss up to those
crooks ? And Venezuela. I guess Biden will such up to Putin for oil next week.

Clifford Williams
2 months ago

The rhetoric on both sides of this issue is just stunningly stupid! You have one side crowing that the world will end if we don’t stop Iran and the side screaming that the same will happen unless we make a deal (that they know will facilitate Iran developing a nuke). It just the same old international political BS.

If the Iranians want a nuke then the reasonable answer is that the other powers look them straight in the eye and tell them “if a nuclear device detonates anywhere in the world we will assume it was you, and then we will burn your country into ashes!”

We went through this same nonsense when India and them Pakistan developed nukes. The political dimwits proclaimed the region would burn in a nuclear fire! Here we are years later and guess what! Nothing happened!

We can purport to proclaim the evils of other nations but there is one fact that always remains. Just like the Soviets and the Chinese, the Iranians may not be nice people that dislike the west but, like the Soviets and the Chinese they are certainly not suicidal!

One thing that will happen if Iran develops nuclear weapons is that it will push the Arab states closer to Israel and the Saudis will own nukes, most likely provided by the Israelis. Will that create a clear and present danger? I think not. If there is one thing the development of nuclear weapons has done is that the major powers of the world have not engaged in an all out war with each other since. Will the minor nuclear powers start throwing nukes at each other? Again, i doubt it, certain death has a way of making people think before they act.

The real “clear and present danger” isn’t from tiny Iran. It is from the cabal of Leftist leaders in the west hell bent on establishing their “One World Fascist State”! Now that they have a bumbling fool under their control in the White House, these fools just may initiate a world wide nuclear holocaust that they can hide away in their well stocked bunkers and wait out the death and destruction so, in 30 years they and their descendants can crawl out and rule the world.

Bruce P
2 months ago

Iran will say anything to get a weak minded person like Biden to fold, and he will. America has sold it’s soul to a demon who is now trying to sell it to a bigger one. It’s still all about votes! America can produce oil and gas cleaner than any other country is even willing to, let alone able to. This administration has proven they don’t want Americans to prosper. Either that or there’s not a single business oriented mind in this whole administration and they’re just blind and ignorant.

David Millikan
2 months ago

DICTATOR Beijing biden keeps emptying our Strategic Oil Reserves auctioning it off to FOREIGNERS. This is ESPIONAGE and TREASON.
With THREAT of NUCLEAR WAR looming and WAR with China over Taiwan DICTATOR Beijing biden uses our OIL RESERVES for politics in midterm elections to lower gasoline prices which will have NO EFFECT.
Instead of DRILLING bringing down fuel prices including everything else like DICTATOR Beijing biden’s INFLATION. DICTATOR Beijing biden would rather leave us helpless and Defenseless with NO OIL.
Not only is this DANGEROUS it is CHILDISH and STUPID.

2 months ago

P.S. Iranian “leadership” see “dictator” rules over a terrorist nation who hates this country…no doubt laughing at the pathetic and bumbling Biden. Those who make deals with a terrorist nation and sell this nation into possible bondage should be labeled traitors of the worst kind.

2 months ago

The United States is sitting on million of gallons of oil! BIDEN has all but completely stopped drilling, refuses to issue new permits or renew them, killed our Keystone Pipeling and pushing hideously expensive “electric” cars….see: lithium mining photos online then look for photos of the Kestone….Question #1 which one is “disturbing” the surrounding areas and wild animals the most? Hint…it ain’t Keystone.
All for what? So the anti-freedom anti-American lefties can eventually rule a “docile” and beaten people.

THX 1138
2 months ago

More like it’s always been about Biden’s 10% cut!

2 months ago

Where did you get your gas prices? Where I live the price of gas at the cheaper stations has increased $.80 in the last two weeks making it $575.00 for regular gas.

2 months ago
Reply to  David

That’s $5.75 sorry fingers got carried away

2 months ago
Reply to  David

Must be California. With all those state taxes and fees heaped on top of the product, in addition to the special blends California mandates for use in state, it must be ridiculously expensive to fill up.

2 months ago

“…caused Germany, France, and the United Kingdom to issue a statement expressing “serious doubts” over Iran’s sincerity in the ongoing negotiations”. Ya think?

Pam Chitwood
2 months ago

We need to back the people in Iran that are Protesting and being arrested for their anger at the
Government. I do not know what our government can do but Obama did nothing I am aware of. We are in that position again..

2 months ago

Bidum should be imprisoned for trying to negotiate another deal like Obama made. He wants to give tons more money to Iran in order to buy a little more oil, that we don’t need, we have far more here.
We would be far far more secure if we pumped our own oil, not give any money to Iran, but inspect what Iran has been doing with their nuclear enrichment program.
Iran is a rogue terrorist nation, responsible for 9-11. What more does the idiot in charge have to know?

2 months ago

I must disagree…it’s all about the money…and…whose pocket is padding whose pocket. Up to being told I reading this wrong.

Philip Hammersley
2 months ago

If drilling and transporting American oil is bad and damaging to the climate (LIE), why is using Iranian oil OK? As usual, the leftist argument is total donkey s***.

anna hubert
2 months ago

We who put the whole world on it’s feet now depend on Arabs and China this is beyond perverted

2 months ago
Reply to  anna hubert

Whose pocket is padding whose pocket is all you need to know. I don’t believe it has anything to do with anything else.

2 months ago

Oil is a secondary consideration, since Iran is at best a second tier oil producing nation. They simply don’t have the capacity to produce the number of barrels of oil of say Saudi Arabia or the other major Middle East countries. Much of its daily oil output of Iran is already committed contractually to Europe over the long-term, once any remaining sanctions are removed. As for any additional oil capacity that Iran may be able to produce, Iran would be far more likely to sell such output to an existing allie than the United States, that is still views as “The Great Satan”. China comes to mind as one potential customer, when you consider all the support the CCP has given to Iran on his nuclear and missile developments over the last few years. So in my view, the author is completely wrong on what is driving the Biden administration’s push to get the Iran Nuclear Deal reinstated.

The primary driver for pursuing the Iran Nuclear Deal is to restore the one, lone foreign policy win that Obama had in his 8 year term as POTUS. It’s essentially ego gratification for Obama. Nothing more. No author living in D.C. will have the guts to put that truth in print, because it would draw the wrath of the inside the beltway crowd and destroy their livelihood. So we get these fanciful pieces of fiction trying to justify an alternative reason for the U.S. persuing an insane foreign policy with the most prolific terrorist state in the Middle East. It is what it is folks. Elections have consequnces and we get a freash reminder of that on a daily basis.

Clifford Williams
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

But is doing nothing, really insane? The west tried everything under the sun short of war to stop India, and then Pakistan from developing nukes, we failed, and what happened? NOTHING! Relative peace has remained between the countries ever since.

If Iran gets a nuke, what will they do with it? Launch a strike against Israel? That would certainly fail, Israel would retaliate in force and Iran would be destroyed. Give a nuke to terrorists? How would they be able to deny this as no other nuclear power has ever done this and they are the “new kid on the block”! The world would certainly retaliate and destroy their country! Would the Arab states get nukes? Probably. Most likely from Israel. Would that be bad? No. If there is one thing Nuclear weapons have done it is “Keep the peace”! War is far less appealing when your death and the death of all your citizens is the inevitable outcome!

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