The current, bumpy negotiations aimed at preventing the Iranian regime from developing nuclear weapons are among the Biden administration's highest priorities. The administration lifted sanctions on more than a dozen former Iranian officials in June, a move that Iranian officials viewed as a victory.
Iran even claimed that 1,000 more sanctions will soon be lifted, which the U.S. State Department spokesman denied. Days later, it was reported that the Biden administration might remove what it considers symbolic sanctions on Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The relief comes as Iran faces new internal pressures. Severe water shortages have triggered six days of massive anti-government protests, including chants of "Death to [Ayatollah] Khamenei."
As diplomacy continues, Iran is not relenting in pursuing its violent objectives. U.S. troops in Syria were shelled by Iranian rocket fire following U.S. airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias. While U.S. forces responded to the attacks, it was not enough to stop six reprisal attacks by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria this month alone. "President Biden must put forward a real strategy for deterring and ending these attacks, rather than continuing his bare-minimum, tit-for-tat approach that is failing to deter Iran or its militias and puts American lives at increased risk." said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.
Iran's Supreme National Security Council on Tuesday rejected a new draft nuclear agreement because it was incompatible with legislation passed by Iran's parliament last December. That law prohibits the country from dropping below 20 percent enriched uranium, which would not be allowed in any negotiated nuclear deal.
"The committee formed at the SNSC which was responsible for comparing the draft with the law passed by the parliament in December has decided that it is incompatible with the law," said Ali Rabiei, spokesman for outgoing Iranian President Ali Rouhani.
In 2015, Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and Germany. It lifted some sanctions on the Iranian government in exchange for restricting the amount of enriched uranium stockpiles Iran could maintain.
Since then, Iran ratcheted up its expansionist plans in the Middle East, underwriting terrorist groups and even assassinating dissidents in Western countries.
Those aggressive international terrorist operations continue. Four Iranian nationals were charged in New York July 14 with attempting to kidnap American journalist Masih Alinejad and take her to Iran. The plot began in 2018, the indictment says. Alinejad is a critic of the tyrannical Iranian regime. The plot was foiled by the FBI.
Iranian state agents reportedly are intensifying social media campaigns to sow discord among Americans, pushing anti-Semitic messages such as "Hitler was right," and "kill all Jews."