Biden’s Iran Problem Even More Troubling Than It First Appears
Following up on an Instapundit link to a Washington Post piece indicating Senator Joseph Biden’s soft-headed approach to Iran (read all of that) and an email tip I received two days ago reveals some additional extremely troubling pieces of information as regards Biden and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
As WND pointed out back in 2005, Biden is sensitive to Iran’s emotional needs
Greenway wrote yesterday: "Senator Joseph Biden said that even if Iran was a full democracy like India, it would want nuclear capability, like India. What the world needed to address was Iran’s emotional needs, he said, with a nonaggression pact."
As TNR reported on October 22, 2001 in a must read item for more on Biden, just one month after 9/11, Biden had his own reaction to events of September 11th – even while Iran was concluding an arms deal in Russia the US strongly opposed:
At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: "I’m groping here." Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction. "Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran," Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.
The staffers sit in silence. Finally somebody ventures a response: "I think they’d send it back." Then another aide speaks up delicately: "The thing I would worry about is that it would almost look like a publicity stunt." Still another reminds Biden that an Iranian delegation is in Moscow that very day to discuss a $300 million arms deal with Vladimir Putin that the United States has strongly condemned. But Joe Biden is barely listening anymore. He’s already moved on to something else.
So sensitive is Biden to Iran’s needs, he actually broached the subject directly with Iran at Davos in 2005. While termed a "clash" in news reports, it was hardly that given that Biden expressed an obvious moral equivalence as regards Iran and the US and his actions were contrary to the existing Bush Administration policy of isolating the regime.
The rare and frank public exchange between a senior American politician and a ranking member of the Iranian government came at a dinner during the World Economic Forum held in this Alpine resort town.
There are no official contacts between Washington and Tehran, which President Bush has labeled part of the "axis of evil," and which stands accused by the U.S. administration of trying to make nuclear weapons – something Iran denies.
Biden, D-Del., favors dialogue with Iran and as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Comittee has occasionally met with officials from the Islamic Republic. He is at odds with administration hard-liners who favor isolating Iran for its supposed nuclear weapons plans and alleged backing of terrorists.
Biden’s warning to Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was tempered, with the U.S. senator also urging his own government to rethink its positions.
"You have to grow up and my administration has to grow up, with all due respect, and find out if there is any common ground," he said." We are on the course of unintended consequences."
Biden criticized Bush’s unwillingness to rule out an armed response.
"I hope we’re all smarter about this, smarter than we’ve been," he said. "I hope our leadership is brighter because if it’s not, it’s a very dull picture for the region, and for humanity."
Back in 2002 Biden pro-actively reached out to individuals aligned with the clerics in Iran to pursue a private fund raising event, which he did, taking away $30,000, sending the wrong message to Iran and also taking advantage of the opportunity to bash Bush policies just two years into Bush’s first term.
Namazi-khah and other IMAN board members say Biden’s office contacted them to inquire if they would hold a private fund-raiser for the senator, who is up for re-election this year, after meeting with them at a pro-Tehran gala in New York last December. That event was sponsored by the American-Iranian Council (AIC), a pro-regime lobbying group trying to get Congress and the Bush administration to lift the trade embargo on Iran.
The AIC is funded by hefty contributions from Conoco and other U.S. oil companies seeking to get a piece of the potentially lucrative Iranian petrochemicals sector The oil companies are prevented from working in Iran by the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996.
See Atlas Shrugs for more.