Reminder: After 9/11, Biden Wanted to Send $200 Million to Iran

by Jim Geraghty

Vice President Joe Biden, fresh off attacking Republicans for writing an open letter to the Iranian regime, is pushing for $1 billion in new aid to Central America.

Reminder, in autumn of 2001, right after the 9/11 attacks, Joe Biden wanted to send $200 million to the Iranian regime.

At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: “I’m groping here.” Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.

The staffers sit in silence. Finally somebody ventures a response: “I think they’d send it back.” Then another aide speaks up delicately: “The thing I would worry about is that it would almost look like a publicity stunt.” Still another reminds Biden that an Iranian delegation is in Moscow that very day to discuss a $300 million arms deal with Vladimir Putin that the United States has strongly condemned. But Joe Biden is barely listening anymore. He’s already moved on to something else.

So giving away something for nothing while dealing with Iran is a proud tradition of Biden’s record in government.

This is just one of many reasons why Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, said Biden “has been wrong about nearly every foreign policy and national security decision in the last 40 years” this morning. He was echoing a comment from former defense secretary Robert Gates.

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