John Kirby Questioned About Failing Iran Policy

Relations between Iran and the United States remain tense.

Iran has agreed to suspend some of its nuclear enrichment activity as part of a different track of indirect discussions with the United States to reduce tensions. Iran’s nuclear program, its violent persecution of its own peacefully protesting populace, and its backing for Russia’s conflict against Ukraine continue to fuel underlying tensions that have yet to be resolved.

The Biden administration’s stance toward Iran “doesn’t appear to be working,” MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell said Monday to National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

In November, American soldiers and Iranian-backed militias traded blows in Iraq and Syria. Since Hamas assaulted various areas in southern Israel on October 7, killing over 1,400 people, the number of assaults has grown.

“The U.S. has already executed its third round of retaliatory attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Syria,” Mitchell informed Kirby Monday. This time, numerous Iranians were slain. It appears that deterrence is having little effect.

The Biden administration reversed course on plans to impose oil sanctions on Iran. As part of an agreement to secure the release of 5 jailed Americans, the Biden administration negotiated for South Korea to release $6 billion in earnings from Iranian oil sales for humanitarian purposes. However, after the fatal Hamas attack, Iran’s access to the cash was barred again.

We’re not seeking trouble, and we don’t want any more assaults, but we’ll keep doing what we have to support our troops and our facilities safe, Kirby added.

Iraq has been given a fresh 4-month waiver by the Biden administration, allowing the passage of billions of dollars to Iran that US sanctions had banned. In light of Iran’s support for Hamas in the ongoing Gaza conflict, this move would essentially unfreeze the roughly $10 billion that Iraq owes Iran but is unable to pay due to US sanctions.

According to the Biden administration, money given would be used solely for humanitarian and “non-sanctionable” needs in Iran, such as food and medication.

Even if this fund were carefully inspected, its detractors argue that it would still make some other cash available that may be used for evil purposes.