Iran’s currency reserve has increased almost eight times since Joe Biden was inaugurated as United States president in January, according to fresh projections by the International Monetary Fund.
In the twilight of the former Trump administration in late 2020, the Iranian economy was in a deep recession with U.S. sanctions at their height. The currency reserve down to a mere $4 billion.
By contrast, Tehran’s currency reserve soared to $31 billion during the first 10 months of the Biden administration. The dramatic rise in the Iranian regime’s currency reserve appears to be linked to the administration’s lax policy on Iran, dramatically boosting the ayatollah-led regime’s illicit trade of crude oil.
Even critics of the Trump administration admitted that the Iranian economy was collapsing in 2020 due to the Trump administration’s unprecedented sanctions – the maximum pressure campaign – on Tehran that seriously undermined the continued viability of the regime.
By contrast, the dramatic recent inflow of cash to Iran appears to have strengthened the nation’s economy but without improving daily life for millions of impoverished Iranians. While a financially cash-strapped Iran was increasingly desperate to reach a nuclear agreement with Washington under the Trump administration, the dramatic inflow of cash has only hardened Tehran’s hawkish nuclear policies and its aggressive policies throughout the Middle East.
This is bad news for Western diplomats who still hope to reach a diplomatic agreement with Tehran. A financially bolstered Iranian regime will now almost certainly pressure Western diplomats to capitulate to Iran’s demands for a new deal.
Gabriel Noronha, a former State Department special advisor for Iran under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, criticized the Biden administration for giving up Washington’s leverage on Tehran by softening U.S. sanctions without demanding any Iranian concessions in return on the nuclear front or its support of international terrorism.
“At the end of the Maximum Pressure Campaign in January 2021, Iran was facing a simultaneous debt, inflation, unemployment, and balance of payments crisis caused by massive U.S. economic pressure,” Noronha told the Free Beacon. “Now the regime is making tens of billions in unsanctioned oil sales with China while Biden’s Treasury Department looks the other way and even supported the IMF giving Iran a $5 billion currency bailout.”
China – America’s number one global rival – has reportedly become the main importer of Iranian crude oil. In March 2021, The Diplomat reported that China is buying record amounts of Iranian oil.
Today, Tehran is far more capable of financing its illegal nuclear program and its vast terrorist network in the Middle East and beyond.
An emboldened Iran is linked to the increasing socio-economic meltdown in Lebanon. The Iranian-backed terrorist group, Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, has directly benefited from an empowered Tehran and increasingly acts as the de facto ruler of Lebanon.
In September, Hezbollah boasted by presenting itself as Lebanon’s “savior” when it brought Iranian oil via Syria in flagrant violation of the Trump administration’s imposed U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil.
In addition, the Biden administration’s Iran policy has also indirectly enabled America’s main rival China to secure vast amounts of illicit oil needed for its expanding economy and seek to supplant America as the world’s leading power. Following the visit of China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Tehran in March, China and Iran signed a 25-year strategic trade deal where China is committed to investing $400 billion in the Iranian economy in exchange for Iranian oil.