With three days left in office, former Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter to reflect.
“I’m proud to report with just a few days left in our Administration, our Administration is the first in decades that did not get America into a new war,” he wrote. “That’s Peace through Strength.”
The former Vice President is right, and as a candidate for Congress, I heard repeatedly both Democrats and Republicans share their pride in U.S. foreign policy under the Trump administration.
We can best see its successes in today’s transformed Middle East. When the previous administration took office, ISIS controlled thousands of square miles of Iraq and Syria under its so-called “Caliphate.” Today, the ISIS territorial Caliphate – and Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – is practically nonexistent.
Likewise, our ally Israel counted only Egypt and Jordan as its formal partners when Trump assumed office. Today, the United States and Israel have added Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates to that list through the groundbreaking Abraham Accords.
Most notably, the Trump administration took the courageous step of withdrawing from the deeply-flawed Iran Nuclear Deal. Throngs of partisan talking heads predicted doomsday-esque consequences thanks to the former president’s decision, but – much to the mainstream media’s chagrin – their foretold apocalypse never came.
In short, Iran found itself isolated on the international stage with far less Western cash in its bank accounts and far more to lose if it did not abandon its nuclear aspirations. Few foreign policy analysts predicted these outcomes, but the Trump administration proved that bold decision-making could yield transformative results for the Middle East.
Now, more than three months into a new administration, our country is at another crossroads with Iran. To his credit, Biden has already shown that he takes the Iranian threat seriously by authorizing U.S. airstrikes against Iranian proxy targets in eastern Syria. But rejoining the Iran deal without renegotiating a better agreement for the U.S. and our allies would undo every bit of progress our country has made with Iran over the last four years.
The next few weeks are critical. Thus far, the Biden administration has proven unsuccessful in even getting Iran to the table, but negotiations between the U.S. and Tehran are set to intensify with Iran’s presidential elections looming and reports indicating the administration is planning to introduce a new proposal asking Iran to halt some of its nuclear activities in exchange for some relief on U.S. economic sanctions.
President Biden has a choice: His administration can bow to the pressures of the progressive left and return to the original 2015 agreement that removed economic sanctions on the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism or continue along the path blazed by President Trump that held Iran accountable and hindered its ability to obtain a nuclear weapon. The ball is in Biden’s court, and the whole world is watching.
Fortunately, a bipartisan group of 139 pro-Israel lawmakers have emerged in Congress who are rightfully concerned about the nuclear aspirations of Iran and the danger the Mullahs present to the United States and the Middle East. Just last month, this group circulated a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemning Iran for its malign behavior and calling on the State Department to prioritize bipartisan cooperation before signing any new agreement with Iran.
Specifically, the letter noted that Iran “has sowed chaos in Syria and Yemen, continued to arm Hezbollah and worked to provide the terrorist group with precision-guided missiles to attack Israel, and backed forces in Iraq that have targeted American troops.” I am proud to be a member of this bipartisan group, in addition to co-sponsoring new legislation that would ensure Congressional review of any sanction waivers with respect to Iran.
Like many, I sincerely hope that the Iranian people will overcome the oppressive Khamenei regime and form a new, democratic government that will truly represent the will of the Iranian people. Until then, however, our current administration must do what is in the best interest of our country and its allies.
President Biden: Keep America safe and out of the Iran deal – for the sake of our country and our allies in the region. Rejoining the Iran deal is a decision we simply cannot afford to make.
Op-Ed Featured in the Jewishpress.com