President Joe Biden reportedly wanted to send Iran $200 billion “no strings attached” in the weeks immediately following the 9/11 terror attacks.
“Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden reportedly said at the time, according to a report from POLITICO released Sunday.
Biden, then a senator, apparently made the suggestion as an attempt at a “grand gesture” to strengthen American/Iranian ties. He was immediately shut down by staffers (emphasis added):
The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which led to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, also helped improve relations somewhat. Iran, a Shia Muslim-majority country, did not care for the extreme Sunni Islamist government of the Taliban in Afghanistan and was happy to see the U.S. topple it. Iran’s government even reportedly helped fund and supply the leaders of Northern Alliance militias that the U.S. turned to for help in ousting the Taliban government. But U.S. President George W. Bush’s decision to list Iran as an “Axis of Evil” nation in his January 2002 State of the Union speech dealt a blow to the improving ties.
Biden, though, didn’t want to give up.
In the weeks immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks, Biden — known for a lack of verbal discipline — suggested to aides … that maybe America should make a grand gesture of sorts to a region often suspicious of its motives. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden is quoted as saying. (The offhand suggestion did not go over well with his staffers, one of whom responded: “I think they’d send it back.”)
In a speech to the American Iranian Council following the 9/11 attacks, Biden “spoke of how ordinary Iranians had held candlelight vigils for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, and how the countries had cooperated to some degree in Afghanistan,” the report said. “Biden even invited Iranian lawmakers to meet with him, wherever and whenever they would like.”
TIL in the weeks after 9/11, Biden suggested to aides that maybe America should make a grand gesture of sorts to a region often suspicious of its motives. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” pic.twitter.com/OxNLYNlaus
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) May 11, 2021
Biden was vice president in 2015 when the Obama administration inked a controversial nuclear deal with Iran — an agreement later abandoned by the Trump administration when Iran failed to comply with stipulations of the deal.
As noted by The Daily Wire, “Some experts believe that Iran never truly complied with the boundaries set in place by the Obama administration, and the Trump administration dropped the deal and reimposed sanctions on the religious dictatorship in 2018.”
“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” then-President Donald Trump said of the agreement. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”
It was reported last month that Biden is seeking help from European allies to restore the nuclear deal.
The Obama/Biden administration also notably gave Iran $1.7 billion in Jan. 2016.
“On Jan. 17, 2016, the day after four American detainees, including The Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian, were released, a jumbo jet carrying $400 million in euros, Swiss francs and other currencies landed in Tehran,” The Washington Post reported. “That money purportedly was partial payment of an outstanding claim by Iran for U.S. military equipment that was never delivered. Soon after, $1.3 billion in cash followed.”