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More Foreign Policy Confusion - by Pete Hoekstra - for The Gatestone Institute - 08.01.23

The recently released Biden National Security Strategy points to the "acute threat" posed by Russia to United States national security. Yet the administration continues, with the support and encouragement of the European Union, its futile attempt to restart the "nuclear deal" to enable Iran's expansionist regime to have as many nuclear weapons as it likes and the ballistic missiles to deliver them -- and on top of that, using Russia, of all countries, as its proxy negotiator.

One can only wonder at how the Biden administration believes the U.S. can negotiate the nuclear agreement using Russia, a nation it labels as an "acute threat," to work on a deal with Iran, a nation that it labels as a "persistent threat."

Not surprisingly, most Middle Eastern countries do not want to see a nuclear-armed Iran. U.S. President Joe Biden and the Saudi government made this point abundantly clear at their summit earlier this year. Given the unified messaged and shared strategic goal, you would think this would be case closed. Far from it.

It is the Saudi kingdom and its oil wells that Iran has been attacking. The Saudis might therefore be understandably alarmed by the efforts of the Biden administration to finalize a new agreement that would enable Iran to legitimately have nuclear weapons.

Saudi Arabia, unlike Iran, has not been invading its neighbors. At present, Iran, through its proxies, effectively controls four countries in addition to its own: Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

The rational Saudi view seems to be: Why should we help the U.S. empower a neighbor who is trying to kill us?

The Saudis, admittedly imperfect, have never encroached on their neighbors or how done anything remotely comparable -- not to mention the gruesome way Iran brutalizes its own citizens. If that is how Iran treats its own people, how can one expect it to treat other countries any better?

Why the U.S. even expected the Saudis to help it while the U.S. was cuddling up to Iran -- which has been attacking Saudi Arabia for years through its Houthi proxy in Yemen -- is unfathomable.... Why should a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead not be far behind?

Why does the U.S. continue to work on disruptive deals with countries that are "acute" and "persistent" threats to the U.S., and which will improve Iran's economy -- so that Iran can be in an even stronger position to help Russia attack its neighbors, while Iran attacks its neighbors?

The bottom line appears to be that American citizens, whose tax dollars are underwriting massive amounts of assistance to Ukraine, are paying more at the pump because the Biden Administration wants an Iranian nuclear agreement with a key supporter of Russia.

If you are confused, it is because the Biden administration's foreign policy is confused. If the Biden administration really believes Russia is an "acute threat," it needs to act like it and stop propping up Russia's allies, which are also threats to the U.S. Instead, the U.S. should be working with countries in the Middle East to support efforts against Russia.

The U.S. also needs to stop this foolish obsession with getting a new Iranian nuclear deal. It is inconsistent with all U.S. foreign policy and national security interests.

For the full article in pdf, please click on this link or click on the link below that for access to the Gatestone website:

Peter Hoekstra was US Ambassador to the Netherlands during the Trump administration. He served 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the second district of Michigan and served as Chairman and Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. He is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

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Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 15, 2022. (Photo by Alexandr Demyanchuk/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

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