The Worst American Foreign-Policy Blunder 2

A sequel far worse than the original

“The worst foreign-policy blunder in American history.” That is how the Trumpet’s editor in chief described the Iran nuclear deal—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement—that went into effect on Jan. 16, 2016. The agreement gave one of America’s fiercest adversaries immediate access to over $100 billion, $1.8 billion of which was in cash. It permitted Iran’s development of ballistic missile technology, which it will develop to eventually hold a nuclear warhead. And astoundingly, it gave Iran a legitimate path to obtaining a nuclear weapon in little over a decade.

Gerald Flurry warned that this signature foreign-policy initiative by President Barack Obama was more than a naive mistake. It was a deliberate attempt to empower the fanatical Islamic regime, putting in grave danger America’s allies, most notably the Jewish state.

President Donald Trump withdrew from what he called the “terrible Iran nuclear deal” and for four years attempted to restrain Iran and support Israel’s defense.

But now with Joe Biden in office, six years after the original deal was initiated, America is leading the great powers into a new agreement with Iran on nuclear technology. Shockingly, there is nothing substantially “new” about this new deal. Those who have followed the negotiations are feeling a sickening sense of déjà vu.

In fact, this may prove to be the new “worst foreign-policy blunder in American history.”

The Remake

Many of the characters have remained the same. Robert Malley leads the negotiations for the United States, just as he did in 2015. Other Obama-era carryovers involved in the new deal include Richard Nephew (who recently left the team due to “differences of opinion”) and Wendy Sherman, serving as deputy secretary of state under Antony Blinken.

This time around, the horror-show ending is clear from the beginning. In the original, Iran’s radical, terrorist-sponsoring, nuclear-ambitious regime was about to collapse under Western sanctions. Yet Obama, president of what Iran calls “the Great Satan,” intervened to save that regime and its nuclear program.

Now, Obama’s former negotiators and his former vice president, Joe Biden, are as determined as he was to strike a deal with Iran at any cost.

Biden’s team has pushed U.S. negotiators to cave in to Iran to such an extent that at least three members of the U.S. negotiating team have resigned in protest. Former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said, “The concessions that were made to the mullahs in Tehran to get the deal put back together make it even worse.” He called it “a terrible mistake for the United States and anyone who believes in peace and regional security.”

According to a draft of the agreement leaked to Reuters, the framework for this new deal is the original deal, including its expiration dates. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said this means that if the Iranians agree to restrictions, whether heavy or light, they could legally pursue nuclear weapons in less than 2½ years.

But at least there are mechanisms or incentives to bring Iran back to the negotiating table in the future, right? Apparently not. The deal reportedly expires in 2025 and leaves it at that.

The stated goal of the new deal is simply to bring Iran back into compliance with the nuclear provisions of the old deal, including reducing the purity of its enriched uranium from its current 60 percent to 3.67 percent. The regime will reportedly reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium in phases, but many of the deal’s benefits will take effect immediately.

A more important and touchier subject is the matter of Iran’s advanced centrifuges, illegal under terms of the original deal. When Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, Iran began building as many of them as it could, and now it does not want to give them up.

If you understand the motivation of the Obama-Biden team, you’ll find their response unsurprising: No problem. The new deal allows Iran to place its illegal advanced centrifuges in storage rather than destroying or otherwise forfeiting them. This means that the worst-case scenario for the people at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization is to wait until 2025 and then start cranking out highly enriched uranium.

The Take

As part of the original nuclear deal, Iran received about $100 billion in unfrozen assets and sanctions relief—equivalent to the 100 top-grossing films of all time, doubled. This saved Iran’s struggling economy and its struggling regime. The mullahs of Tehran used this money to pour vast resources into funding its terrorist proxies.

The new deal will do the exact same thing and provide almost the exact same amount of money. Upon signing the deal, the Iranian regime will gain access to more than $100 billion in currently inaccessible assets.

“If we lift the sanctions, how are those dollars likely to be spent?” asked U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres. “I have no reason to think those dollars will be spent on an Iranian Build Back Better Act. I have every reason to think those dollars will likely finance acts of terrorism and proxy warfare.” Torres and others have seen this before: This is exactly what Iran did after implementation of the original deal.

But the new deal will produce even larger flows of cash. Iran’s economy depends heavily on oil exports. With this deal, experts predict Iran will more than double its oil exports within months. S&P Global estimates that within nine months, it could be shipping 1.5 million additional barrels of oil every day. A source in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries told Reuters that it will seek to re-include Iran if a deal is signed.

According to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “Iran’s economy is poised for solid, if not spectacular, growth in the coming months. Before the recent changes in world oil conditions, the International Monetary Fund forecast its gdp growth for 2022 at 2 percent. Combined with an average of 3 percent growth over the previous two years, this would put Tehran at 95 percent of where it was before the Trump administration’s ‘maximum pressure.’” Since that forecast, the price of oil has shot up from $76 to $113 a barrel at the time of writing. Shipping an extra 1.5 million barrels a day will sharply increase Iran’s revenue.

New Costar

The U.S. and Iran have agreed on Russia as the main mediator of the new negotiations. When Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and was condemned for it by the U.S., you would expect this to significantly stall negotiations. Well, yes and no.

The deal has been delayed by Russia’s war on Ukraine and by the fact that a whole new set of demands has been placed on the table—not by Iran, but by Russia. It is demanding that the U.S. lift the sanctions it has implemented for its invasion so that it can trade with Iran after the deal is completed.

Russia has proposed that it be allowed to carry out nuclear work in Iran as per the original deal, enabling it to fulfill a $10 billion contract to expand Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant, to help redesign Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, to swap out uranium, and to furnish Iranian reactors with Russian nuclear fuel.

Biden predictably caved in to Russia’s demands just as he did Iran’s. U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price said America would not impose sanctions on “Russian participation in nuclear projects” as outlined in the new deal.

British journalist Melanie Phillips wrote, “So the Biden administration is now accepting Putin—the man who Biden himself calls a ‘war criminal’ and who has threatened nuclear war against the West—as the controller of Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. … It’s hard to believe, but through its double-dealing with both Russia and Iran, America is now working with a lethal enemy of the West to empower a lethal enemy of civilization” (March 18).

Bad Actor

One obstacle to completing the new deal is the status of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (irgc). President Trump designated it, correctly, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Iran wants that reversed.

The irgc is easily one of the largest, best-funded terrorist organizations in the world, led by a fanatical regime. It has aided in numerous anti-West terrorist attacks since its inception. It is responsible for the deaths of thousands, if not millions, of people, directly and indirectly. Its stated goals include obliteration of the State of Israel and genocide of the Jewish people.

Thus one can imagine the shock and anger felt by Israel’s leaders when rumors emerged that the Biden administration was considering delisting the irgc as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. In exchange, the mullahs would promise to deescalate the region. Israel’s leaders initially refused to believe it. In a joint statement on March 18, Prime Minister Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said, “We find it hard to believe that the irgc’s designation as a terrorist organization will be removed in exchange for a promise not to harm Americans. The fight against terrorism is a global one—a shared mission of the entire world. We believe that the United States will not abandon its closest allies in exchange for empty promises from terrorists.”

When it became evident that the U.S. was indeed planning to delist the irgc, Mr. Bennett said, “Unfortunately, there is still determination to sign the nuclear deal with Iran at almost any cost—including saying that the world’s largest terrorist organization is not a terrorist organization. This is too high a price.”

Obama and Biden are willing to pay it.

Spoiler Alert

Melanie Phillips wrote this interesting statement: “Given that the Iranian regime has been at war with the West since it came to power in 1979, that its fingerprints are on almost every major terrorist atrocity against Western interests and that it unceasingly declares its genocidal aim to exterminate Israel, the administration’s determination to empower it is incomprehensible” (op cit).

Indeed, most people find the U.S. government’s push for this new deal to be incomprehensible. Biden and those around him seem determined to empower a direct enemy and one of the most dangerous regimes on Earth today. Worse still, he seems happy to do it at the expense of America’s allies. To any rational, clear-thinking person, the actions of the Obama administration and this administration have been mystifying.

But you can understand. There is a reason why this administration has made so many decisions that are disastrous for Americans, Israelis and others.

While other news sources praised and swooned over presidential candidate Barack Obama, the Trumpet sounded the alarm. We emphasized scandal after scandal during his administration as other news sources dismissed or forgot them. When Obama’s administration signed the original nuclear deal, Mr. Flurry called it a “cataclysmic foreign-policy blunder.”

When Joe Biden took office, Mr. Flurry forecast that we would see the same horrifying policies as we did under Obama. “Many people can clearly see that Joe Biden is not really in charge of the government,” he wrote in our October 2021 cover story, “This Isn’t Incompetence. This is Treason!” ( “He has filled his administration with Obama-era officials, and Mr. Obama himself is really directing the show! Some say—correctly—that this is effectively Obama’s third term.”

Writing about America’s shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan, Mr. Flurry wrote, “Many of the seeds for this disaster were laid years ago, when Joe Biden was vice president—second in command to Barack Obama. I have written extensively on how, for eight years, the Obama administration was working dangerously against America’s interests—and why” (ibid).

The Trumpet has accurately forecast and emphasized the role of Iran and of Obama by using a key understanding: the prophecies of your Bible.

“Many people can see that these are disastrous decisions,” Mr. Flurry continued. “But we must understand that this isn’t simply the result of ineptitude on the part of this administration, or naivety about how the world really works. We are seeing the aftereffects of a calculated, aggressive, satanic attack aimed at weakening and ultimately destroying the nations of Israel, starting with the world’s most powerful nation!”

There is a force that wants terror, war and nuclear detonations. There is a spirit behind it. That is why these events are all moving in the same direction.

“Many biblical scriptures explain and underscore this truth. You cannot grasp the malevolent intent behind Barack Obama’s actions without recognizing this,” Mr. Flurry wrote.

For decades, using Bible prophecy, the Trumpet has warned about America’s decline and imminent fall as a superpower and the rise of Iran. We warned that it would become the nuclear-armed king of radical Islam based on a prophecy found in Daniel 11:40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” In The King of the South, Mr. Flurry identifies the pushy, aggressive, belligerent leader of Islamic terrorism, Iran, as this king of the south.

The renewed zeal for a nuclear deal by Barack Obama’s men is readying the king of the south to make this prophesied push. Initially, this will make America’s longtime ally Israel extremely vulnerable to future attack. But according to this prophecy, extreme worry will also be felt by the king of the north.

Who is the king of the north? Since 1945, the late Herbert W. Armstrong, editor in chief of the Plain Truth, the predecessor magazine to the Trumpet, identified this king as a German-led Europe. Now, to the cheers and adulation of the rest of the world, Germany is pushing to remilitarize, using the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a pretext (article, page 10).

Mr. Armstrong predicted Germany’s remilitarization more than 75 years ago, when Germany was a bombed-out ruin following World War ii. He based his forecast on the sure word of Bible prophecy. As Mr. Flurry explains, the coming clash between radical Islam and a united, Catholic Europe will spark the nuclear fires of World War iii.

The terrifying forecasts of the Plain Truth and the Trumpet are coming to pass. And the worst is still to come. But from this same key source—Bible prophecy—also comes the greatest news anyone could ever hear!

“[J]ust as surely as those events will unfold, Jesus Christ will return to this Earth in power and glory, as dozens of scriptures confirm!” states our booklet History and Prophecy of the Middle East. Prophecies involving the king of the north and the king of the south culminate in the return of Jesus Christ. Human beings will have proved through history that we are incapable of ruling ourselves and that our nations need to be ruled not by men but by the Kingdom of God. That government will end terrorism, wars and nuclear weapons. The fulfillment of that forecast is what we at the Trumpet are looking forward to the most.