Radical Iran Deal Mastermind Joins Biden’s State Department Team, Other Radical Obama Administration Veterans Join As Well
One of the minds behind the flawed Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) during the time of former President Barack Obama is joining the administration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that the new Democratic president appeared to be recycling members of his cabinet by recently nominating Wendy Sherman as Deputy Secretary of State as he also named other former diplomats and veterans of the Obama administration to fill up his State Department.
Failed Iran, North Korea nuclear deals
Sherman was the lead negotiator of the JCPOA deal signed by Obama and his former Secretary of State, John Kerry — an agreement later abandoned by Republican President Donald Trump and called “worst deal ever negotiated.”
Among others, President Trump said in 2018 that the Iran deal which had the US paying Tehran US$1.7 billion was “defective at its core,” and that “Iran lied” about its nuclear weapon ambitions and continued to pursue its nuclear enrichment program even after the deal with the US.
“In theory, the so-called ‘Iran deal’ was supposed to protect the United States and our allies from the lunacy of an Iranian nuclear bomb, a weapon that will only endanger the survival of the Iranian regime. In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and, over time, reach the brink of a nuclear breakout,” the Republican President said back then.
That time, Sherman was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from September 2011 and October 2015.
Aside from the Iran deal, Sherman also previously helped brokered a nuclear agreement with North Korea in 1994 under former president Bill Clinton — another failed accord was seen as a “half-baked compromise” and as Seoul retorted that time the agreement “helped fortify Pyongyang’s totalitarian regime, rather than transforming it.”
With Democrats back in the White House and the former Obama VP as the new president, Iran already signaled it is looking forward to Biden administration’s ‘unconditional return’ to the Obama-negotiated JCPOA deal.
“We have heard from the Biden team a number of positive remarks regarding the JCPOA and the return of the United States to its obligations based on it,” Iran’s UN ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said.
Meanwhile, aside from Sherman, the ensuing Biden administration is also tapping Victoria Nuland, a former career diplomat, as undersecretary of state for political affairs.
AP said Sherman and Nuland were among the 11 officials announced to serve under the incoming secretary of state, Antony Blinken — who also served as Deputy National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2015 and Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017 under the Obama administration.
“Open border policy”
Blinken appears to be an advocate of “open border policy” after openly praising German Chancellor Angela Merkel for opening the doors of Europe to more than a million refugees.
“In Europe, the crisis is literally at the doorstep of cities, towns across the continent, and I think what we’ve seen exposed in part is a profound lack of self-confidence that’s precipitated a painful search for identity. On both continents, some have reacted by stoking fear and demanding walls, while others have taken a firm stand against hate and bigotry,” Blinken said then, the latter in a veiled attack against opponents of mass migration.
“One of the brightest lights of all in Europe, Chancellor Merkel, has refused to cave to these undercurrents, despite the political cost. Instead, she has firmly upheld our common values of tolerance and openness,” he added.
Biden said his State Department nominees “embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works with our allies” and that he is “confident” his picks will “use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America’s global and moral leadership.”
Reports said the incoming Democratic president also plans to “immediately” ask Congress to provide a path to citizenship for more an 11 million illegal immigrants in the US.
President-elect Joe Biden plans to immediately ask Congress to provide a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally, according to people briefed on his plans. https://t.co/wsw61nDRKd
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) January 17, 2021
AP noted that all of Biden’s nominees “are advocates of multilateralism” — which it said is a “reflection of Biden’s intent to turn away from Trump’s ‘America First’ policy” to international relations.
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