Giving in to enemies, Joe lifts sanctions against former Iranian officials, companies that did business there

WASHINGTON, DC- Joe Biden continued his obsessive “overturn everything Trump did” tour by lifting sanctions against one of our sworn enemies, Iran this past Friday, Breitbart News reported.

The sanctions, against three former Iranian officials and two companies that did business in the Middle Eastern country with its oil companies had been put in place by both former president Donald Trump as well as Barack Obama. The removal of the sanctions was called “routine.”

The administration said the turn in course came about due to a “verified change in behavior or status on the part of the sanctioned parties.”

However, anyone with two eyes can see it’s just another move that shows Biden’s weakness when it comes to foreign policy and a signal to one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terror that the feckless Biden is ready to make more concessions that would reverse the U.S. exit from Obama’s insane nuclear deal with Tehran.

On Thursday, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it had lifted sanctions from National Iranian Oil Company managing director Ahmad Ghalebani, Hong Kong Intertrade Company managing director Farzad Bazargan, and Naftiran Intertrade Company Sarl commercial director Mohammed Moinie.

In fact, it wasn’t Trump who levied sanctions on Ghalebani and Bazargan but rather former president Barack Obama, who levied the sanctions in 2013. That was a case where 20 individuals and entities had action taken against them for “their involvement in Iran’s nuclear and missile proliferation networks and Iran’s continued attempts to circumvent sanctions.” The Hong Kong Intertrade Company was also part of that action.

In January 2020, the Naftiran Intertrade Company was hammered with secondary sanctions for “engaging in transactions involving Iran’s petroleum sector.” According to the  Treasury Department, those particular transactions helped to “finance Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its terrorist proxies.”

If Qods Force sounds familiar it should. It was previously headed by Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was taken out by a U.S. airstrike ordered by President Trump in January 2020. In fact, the IRGC is a designated terrorist organization. So in essence, Biden lifted sanctions from an entity that financed a known terrorist organization.

Moreover, the Qods force is known as the IRGC’s so-called “dirty tricks” squad, according to Breitbart, where they spread Iran’s influence far outside its borders through activities such as arming and training terrorist groups such as the Shiite militias in Iraq. Again, terrorists who have been responsible for the deaths and injuries of American troops.

In September 2013, Mohammed Moinie was placed under sanctions for helping the Iranian government evade oil sanctions. Moinie is the Switzerland-based commercial director for Naftiran Intertrade Company Sarl.

At a press conference, State Department Ned Price was asked about the removal of sanctions, with reporters expressing surprise about the removal of the Obama-era sanctions.

Price tried to spin his answer by speaking to other sanctions Biden has recently imposed, noting action taken against Iranians who were funding Houthi insurgents in Yemen.

He would not however answer questions about lifting of the older sanctions, only finally admitting that the three individuals and two companies had sanctions lifted in response to a routine “petition,” which he called a “routine practice consistent with sanctions hygiene.” He did not say from whence that petition originated.

Price, who apparently got the gift of giving non-answers to questions from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was evasive about more detailed questions about the sanctions relief, calling the “hygiene process” a “very technical process that takes place at the Department of the Treasury.

He downplayed suggestions that lifting the sanctions was a precursor to negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program as “wrong.”

The Treasury Department also was evasive when asked about the sanctions being lifted, only saying that it was in response to a “change in behavior” among the Iranian entities.

According to a Treasury spokesperson in comments to Al-Arabiya News on Thursday, Ghalebani, Bazargan, and Moinie are “no longer in their position within entities affiliated with the Government of Iran,” so there was no reason to maintain the sanctions against them.

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Earlier this year, Law Enforcement Today reported about former Secretary of State John Kerry allegedly providing Iran with information on covert Israeli military operations. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

WASHINGTON, D.C.- If this were an adviser to the Trump administration, it would be on every cable news channel 24/7 and leading the national news on the major networks for weeks.

However since it is a Biden lackey, all you hear are crickets. This is referring of course to the bombshell report that John Kerry revealed covert Israeli operations to Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. The news was part of a recently leaked audio.

The audio shows that Kerry, when serving as Secretary of State in the Obama administration, informed Zarif of over 200 covert Israeli operations in Syria, Fox News and numerous news outlets reported.

This seems to confirm previous accusations that Kerry, then serving as a private citizen, had colluded with Iranian leaders to undermine the Trump administration.

Kerry is currently serving the Biden administration as a so-called “climate czar,” while also having a seat on the National Security Council.

Zarif claimed he was “shocked” by Kerry’s revelation, in which he was told that Israel had attacked Iranian targets in Syria over 200 times the leaked audio, obtained by the New York Times, said. Other outlets also obtained copies of the audio, including Iran International.

“It was former US Foreign Secretary [Secretary of State] John Kerry who told me Israel had launched more than 200 attacks on Iranian forces in Syria,” Zarif said.

The New York Post reported that Zarif made the comments during a March interview with an Iranian journalist. That interview was not supposed to be released until August, when current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani leaves office.

Zarif met with Kerry, as well as Obama’s Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz white Trump was president, which Kerry admitted to in 2018. Kerry and Moniz were key players in negotiating the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and other global powers, including the United States.

Kerry claimed the basis for the meeting was an attempt to salvage the nuclear agreement, which was scuttled by the Trump administration.

That meeting seemed to violate the Logan Act, which prevents private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers.

In fact, the current occupant of the White House, Joe Biden suggested when he was president that Lt. Col. Michael Flynn be investigated pursuant to that act for the Russia collusion hoax. The act, which has been in place for over 100 years has reportedly only been used once.

When it was disclosed that Kerry had met with Iran, he was slammed by President Trump, claiming  he was conducting “shadow diplomacy” and noted that it was Obama administration officials who had gotten the U.S. into “this mess” in the first place.

“The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal shadow diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal. He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!” Trump posted on Twitter.

Days later, Trump removed the United States from the deal.

Kerry of course defended the deal at the time.

“I think every American would want every voice possible urging Iran to remain in compliance with the nuclear agreement that prevented a war,” he said in a statement.

“Secretary Kerry stays in touch with his former counterparts around the world just like every previous Secretary of State. Like America’s closes allies, he believes it is important that the nuclear agreement, which took the world years to negotiate, remain effective as countries focus on stability in the region.”

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At that time, President Trump accused Kerry, who once famously lied about his service in Vietnam, of violating federal law—the Logan Act—and said he should be prosecuted for it.

“You know, John Kerry speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That’s a violation of the Logan Act and frankly he should be prosecuted on that,” Trump said at the time.

Kerry’s apparent divulging of sensitive information to Iran didn’t sit well with some people.

“John Kerry was ratting out Israeli covert operations in Syria directly to the Iranian foreign minister. Let that sink in. Wow,” wrote Noah Pollak of the foreign policy-focused Democratic Alliance Group on Twitter..

Meanwhile, Gabriel Noronha, former special advisor for Iran at the State Department had this to say about Zarif and the leak:

“The main reason Zarif has survived as Foreign Minister for 8 years in Iran’s cutthroat political environment is that he serves as the ‘reasonable’ storefront to the world, protecting the more empowered radical elements of the regime from Western and press scrutiny,” he said in a statement.

“I think the leak was likely instigated by regime insiders who have long hated Zarif and tried to oust him—they oppose the current efforts to rejoin the JCPOA and also want to bolster domestic opposition to President Rouhani and his allies running for office in June.”

The release of Zarif’s comments set off a sea of criticism in Iran, where such statements are typically closely held since the political environment is considered to be “cutthroat” and where that environment also includes the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which is ultimately overseen by the country’s supreme leader.

Zarif’s comments could also complicate upcoming talks in Vienna, aimed at finding a way for both the U.S. and Tehran to come into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

There have been incidents of sabotage which targeted Iran’s nuclear facility at Natanz, as Iran has begun enriching small amounts of uranium up to 60% purity, closer to weapons grade levels.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh didn’t dispute the authenticity of the tape, and told journalists Monday that the recording was “selectively edited” and included only a portion of a seven-hour interview Zarif gave. He did not however dispute the tape’s authenticity.

The Daily Wire noted the timing of the leak was bad for the Biden administration, which has been aggressively trying to get Iran to re-engage with the nuke deal, despite overwhelming opposition from Israel.

The leak could impact Iran’s negotiating leverage with news that the Revolutionary Guard, designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization, calls the shots in Iran, news which will not be well received.

Tim Morrison, a national security expert who served on President Trump’s National Security Council and currently a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute told the Daily Wire earlier this year that the Biden administration was “giving up all leverage as it tried to restart the ‘dangerously flawed’ nuclear deal.”

Morrison noted:

“The Biden Administration is repeating the mistakes of the Obama Administration. It’s making concessions to get nothing more than a meeting. The Iran deal was dangerously flawed in 2015.

In2021, with key provisions expired, it’s simply national security malpractice to return to that deal. The Trump Administration bequeathed Biden tremendous leverage over Iran—it must not squander it.”

As expected, Biden’s State Department downplayed the revelations.

“This is purportedly leaked material. Can’t speak to the authenticity. Can’t speak to the accuracy of it. Can’t speak to any motives that may behind its dissemination,” wordsmith State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Monday.

“If you go back and look at press reporting from the time, this certainly was not secret, and governments that were involved were speaking to this publicly on the record,” the Washington Examiner reported.

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Author: Pat Droney


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