April 7, 2020
News Press Release

ZOA Criticizes Joe Biden for Promoting Lies & Demanding Sanctions Relief for Iran

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2015, file photo released by the Iranian President's Office, President Hassan Rouhani visits the Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside of Bushehr, Iran. Iran announced Tuesday it would inject uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges it previously kept empty under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. (AP Photo/Iranian Presidency Office, Mohammad Berno, File)

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:

The ZOA strongly criticizes former Vice President Joe Biden’s April statement demanding sanctions relief for Iran. Biden falsely claimed that U.S. sanctions are “encouraging Iran to become even more aggressive and [to] restart its nuclear program”; and falsely claimed that the Trump administration is “compounding that failure with cruelty by inhibiting access to needed humanitarian assistance.”   

It is ludicrous for Biden to accuse the Trump administration of “cruelty” and inhibiting access to medical aid. Biden knows that sanctions do not apply to humanitarian medical assistance; Biden’s April 3 statement even acknowledged that the U.S. actually offered coronavirus aid to Iran, and that “there are already humanitarian exceptions in place for sanctions.”  

Biden tried to skirt these facts by claiming that, despite the sanctions exemption, aid organizations and governments are still afraid of running afoul of U.S. sanctions. But that claim is obviously false. The real problem (which Biden failed to mention) is that Iran’s mullahs rejected the United States’ generous offer of aid, and threw Doctors Without Borders (including its 50-bed planned hospital and medical personnel) out of Iran. (See “ZOA Opposes Waiving or Easing Nuclear and Financial Sanctions on Iran,” Apr. 2, 2020; and “ZOA Condemns Sanders, Ilhan Omar, Others for Demanding Ending Iran Sanctions,” Mar. 20, 2020.)

Biden also ignored the fact that the U.S. continues to pay for indirect humanitarian aid to Iran via UNICEF and WHO.  

Biden is thus accusing the wrong party of “cruelty.”   

It is the Iranian regime that is cruelly denying medical aid to its own people – in a cynical attempt to use the coronavirus to remove financial and nuclear sanctions, so that the regime can escalate its terror and nuclear activities.

Biden is also wrong that re-imposing sanctions is the cause of Iranian aggression. In fact, the Obama-Biden JCPOA (Iran deal) is to blame. The JCPOA gave Iran approximately $150 billion which enabled Iran to vastly increase its funding of its terror proxies, paying for missiles for Hamas and Hezbollah, and other military and anti-American activities. Iran still holds rallies where cries of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” are the constant theme. 

Biden also falsely portrayed Iran as complying with the Iran deal prior to the Trump administration re-imposing sanctions. In fact, as ZOA previously documented, Iran violated the JCPOA and related UN Resolution 2231 from the outset of the Iran deal. Long before the Trump administration re-imposed sanctions, Iran violated the JCPOA by: refusing to allow IAEA inspectors to inspect Iran’s Parchin facility for possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program; exceeding heavy water stocks in 2016; replacing old centrifuges with new IR8 centrifuges that can quickly produce weapons-grade uranium; continuing its illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities at a quantitatively high level; and repeatedly testing ballistic missiles designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, Biden’s recent false statements about Iran, sanctions and the Iran deal are nothing new. 

For instance, when the JCPOA was being reviewed by Congress in 2015, VP Biden promoted the Iran deal at a public meeting by extraordinarily and falsely stating:

There is “one thing I want to set straight because I’ve seen the ads.  That is the idea that we can’t inspect military facilities — it’s simply not true. Let me get this straight. Look at me. As one person once said, ‘Read my lips.’ Not true,” he said to laughter. “We can, with cause, inspect any place in Iran if we believe there is illegal activity taking place.”

Biden’s statements that we can inspect “any place in Iran” and Iranian military facilities were blatant falsehoods. In fact, “we” (the United States) can’t inspect anything: Iran bars U.S. personnel from serving as IAEA inspectors in Iran. Further, the Iran deal provided for interminable delays, supposed “alternatives,” and excuses to prevent access to Iran’s undeclared nuclear sites. (See JCPOA ¶ Q-74-78.) The deal moreover made inspecting military facilities virtually impossible, stating:

Requests for access pursuant to provisions of this JCPOA will be made in good faith, with due observance of the sovereign rights of Iran, and kept to the minimum necessary to effectively implement the verification responsibilities under this JCPOA. In line with normal international safeguards practice, such requests will not be aimed at interfering with Iranian military or other national security activities. . .” (JCPOA ¶ Q-74.)

ZOA urges Joe Biden to immediately stop proclaiming falsehoods about the Iran deal and sanctions. It’s bad for America. It’s bad for Israel. And it’s bad for our fight against radical Islamic terrorism.