Former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell is flatly stating that Iran is making moves against the incoming Biden administration because they believe he is weak and they can get away with it. This is reflected in the brazen imprisonment of a fourth American by Iran on spying charges according to NBC on Sunday. NBC also reported that “the imprisonment of a fourth American could derail a bid by the Biden administration to revive a nuclear agreement with Iran.”
An Iranian-American businessman has been sentenced by a Tehran court to 10 years in jail for spying. That could very well scuttle any attempts by the Biden administration concerning diplomacy with the Iranian regime. Indications are that Biden plans to resurrect a new nuclear agreement with the Iranians if he can. He has brought on board many of the players under the Obama administration who participated in the last agreement.
Sensing that the Biden administration will potentially not take a strong stance against them, Iran has been making moves to gain as much leverage as they can before the incoming administration makes a bid to reenter the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal. That includes major breaches of the agreement as well as hostage-taking. Under the Trump administration’s policy of maximum pressure, Iran had actually freed American hostages. Already, the opposite is now occurring.
Iranian-American Emad Shargi, 56, was arrested near the northern border of Iraq while trying to leave the country on December 6, 2020. This is not the first time he has been targeted. He was arrested in April 2018 and was jailed for seven months. A family friend of Shargi told NBC News that he was called to court on Nov. 30, convicted of espionage without trial, and sentenced to a decade in jail.
An Iranian court had cleared Shargi a year ago, but the regime held onto his Iranian and U.S. passports. They considered him a pawn to be used at a future date, and that time has come.
The about-face by the regime comes as President-elect Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated and just days after the killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Iran holds Israel responsible for that death.
“The case threatens to complicate plans by the next administration to pursue diplomacy with Iran, as President-elect Joe Biden has said he would be open to easing sanctions on Tehran if the regime returned to compliance with a 2015 nuclear agreement,” the NBC report said.
Richard Grenell warned: “The Iranian regime is making moves against the Biden team. They believe they can get away with it.” That tweet was in response to Benjamin Weinthal, who is a correspondent for the Jerusalem Post. He tweeted: “Within a week, Iran’s regime @khamenei_ir took another American, Emad Shargi, as a hostage and announced it plans to murder a second champion wrestler, Mehdi Ali Hosseini.”
Grenell also tweeted concerning the pending execution of Hosseini: “The Iranian Regime is feeling emboldened.”
With good reason. Pallets of cash are the reward.
— Dan Stringer, SEC Pimp (@Danstringer74) January 18, 2021
This is insane, the second wrestler in a year to be executed by the authoritarian regime! https://t.co/gowhmYqeHk
— Funky (@Benaskren) January 11, 2021
The other three Americans being held by Iran are Siamak Namazi, his father, Baquer, and Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian-American environmental activist, who also has British citizenship.
Since Trump took office in 2016, Iran has released more than 40 U.S. hostages and detainees. They feared Trump but their fear seems to have evaporated as Biden ascends.
Unbelievably, Biden did not even wait to be sworn in. His team has already allegedly begun quiet talks with Iran to placate the regime and return to the nuclear deal. A plan is already in place.
Welcome back to the Carter years. Complete with hostages, gas lines and inflation the likes we haven’t seen in decades.
— Dr. Harloween 🇺🇸 (@harloween7) January 18, 2021
Another report by the Israel Hayom said that Israel, who is wary of Biden’s promise to return to the deal, is crafting military options to “undermine Iran’s nuclear efforts or if need be, counter Iranian aggression, which will soon be presented to the government.” That could embroil America in a war.
Iran last week announced it was resuming enriching uranium to 20 percent, in violation of the accords, and a move which portends the Islamic Republic is seeking nuclear weapons.
Iran also said it has started work on uranium fuel for a research reactor in the capital of Tehran, which is another breach of the deal. These are all warning shots aimed at the Biden administration. Iran’s leaders want to demonstrate to their people suffering from the pandemic that they are acting with determination against U.S. “aggression” and are not begging to return to the nuclear deal. Iran’s leaders will seek to weaken any commitment from Biden.
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