Biden and Iran: The JCPOA

Regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, it remains unclear to me and perhaps to others what precisely Obama was and now Biden is after. For Obama who sat at the feet of Jew hater Jeremiah Wright for many years it seemed part of a plan to destroy the Jewish state. I have yet to hear another explanation if there is one.

As for Biden let us recall his run in with Menachem Begin. Biden was chastising Begin during a Senate hearing in 1982 over Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank, harshly threatening to cut off economic aid to the Jewish state if it did not immediately cease its settlement activities. Begin forcefully replied to Biden in words equally applicable today: “Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”

We need as well to recall the role of Jimmy Carter. Perhaps not the end but the beginning of the end of the Cold War might have occurred on 16 January 1979, the day Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, boarded a plane bound for Egypt.

A couple of weeks later the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini was back in Tehran. Iranians voted by national referendum to become an Islamic Republic with Khomeini as Supreme Leader.

The Ayatollah owed his remarkable political success to the US State Department. State’s unremitting hostility to the Shah apparently dated from the tenure of Henry Kissinger in the mid-1970s. Said Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor: “…the power echelons at State, notably the head of the Iran Desk, were motivated by doctrine dislike of the Shah and simply wanted him out of power altogether.” This despite the fact that the Shah was a strong opponent of Soviet ambitions in the region. Was the Shah’s friendly attitude to Israel the problem? Persian Jews were much indebted to the Pahlavis, father and son. Under the Pahlavis, the Jews of Persia were allowed equality before the law, much
freedom and opportunities that had been denied them. It was said that James Earl “Jimmy“ Carter, no fan of the State of  Israel, was pretty sure that if one made nice with the Grand Ayatollah he would respond with good will and tolerance and, as someone put it, become Jimmy’s best pal. How to explain? There are hypotheses having to do with oil and opium.

A few years ago Carter’s Secretary of Agriculture Robert Bergland told me that at the time of the 1979-1980 Tehran hostage crisis Carter’s single-minded priority was to get the hostages released and bring them home. The military strategist Edward Luttwak thought that that was entirely mistaken, that America needed to act decisively, that Carter’s failure to do so has been paid for in blood.

About the Author
David Levy was born in Montreal where he has lived most of his life. He earned a communications studies at McGill University. He has worked in cinema, television and radio, done journalism. He has travelled in the Caribbean, Europe and Asia, created a very successful radio series for teaching English in China. Work in journalism includes an essay on media co-authored with Art Spiegelman for Raw magazine. Taught courses in cinema at McGill University. Published books include: Stalin's Man in Canada(2012), The Zionist Entity: The Jewish State in the 21st Century(2015).
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