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Biden to pick Iran nuclear deal negotiator Wendy Sherman for deputy secretary of state: report

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President-elect Joe Biden will nominate a chief architect of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Wendy Sherman, to serve as deputy secretary of state, Politico exclusively reported Tuesday.

Presently, Sherman has a senior counselor role at the Albright Stonebridge Group, the same firm where Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the president-elect’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, worked as a senior counselor too.

Two people familiar close to the presidential transition told Politico that Biden will pick the seasoned diplomat to serve under his nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, another Obama administration alumnus. Under former President Barack Obama, Sherman was under secretary of state for political affairs and was a chief negotiator during the controversial Iran nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

MORE ON BIDEN FOREIGN POLICY: ‘That would be a mistake’: Nikki Haley urges Biden not to ditch all Trump foreign policies

President Donald Trump, a major critic of Iran and the JCPOA, withdrew the United States from the agreement and cranked up sanctions on the authoritarian state, much to the frustration of U.S. allies in the multilateral agreement.

“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” Trump argued in his May 8, 2018 announcement of the U.S. withdrawal. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”

MORE ON IRAN:

Iran will begin 20 percent uranium enrichment ‘as soon as possible’

Ex-Israeli ambassador advises Biden against re-entering the Iran nuclear deal

Since leaving the Obama administration, Sherman has been a vocal critic of President Trump’s foreign policy. She has especially gone after him for his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a July 2020 article in Foreign Policy titled “The Total Destruction of U.S. Foreign Policy Under Trump,” Sherman, while also attacking Trump for his handling of Russian bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, wrote: “Years from now, we will hopefully discover the exact nature of Trump’s personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin beyond mere envy of power.”

Prior to serving under President Obama, Sherman also served in the Clinton administration as its policy coordinator for North Korea. Her role at the time has received scrutiny, with President George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker and Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton have both accused Sherman of “appeasement” toward the hostile totalitarian dictatorship.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Chinese Spy Balloon: Tensions rise between the U.S. and China

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A strange object was spotted Wednesday over Billings Montana. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the strange object was, in fact, a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report from KPAX, a western Montana news outlet, the balloon had been on the governments radar for days.

On Friday, the Chinese government released a statement saying that the balloon spotted in Billings is a “civilian airship” that’s sole purpose is used to collect research on weather and that it had just blown off course. The balloon was not shot down by orders of the Pentagon due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground.

Sara Carter, who has spoken frequently on the Chinese government’s threat and expansion to the West, stated on Twitter that the United States has failed to stop China from purchasing land near military installations, vital agricultural land, as well as, allowing Chinese linked companies, such as Huawei, to install technology in cellular towers. Those cellular towers are located in Montana, along side more than 150 ICBM nuclear silos.

China said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.” Majeure meaning that it was out of there control. It blew off course due to limited “self-steering” capabilities according the Ministry. The ministry also stated that the balloon, “deviated far from its planned course.”

This incident is adding fuel to the fire of what is already a tense relationship between the worlds two largest economies. China already lays claim to approximately 80% of the South China Sea, and is seeking full control over Taiwan after assuming full control of Hong Kong. China’s belt and road initiative has invested copious amounts of money into building infrastructure in other countries and uses it as economic blackmail. China’s transportation of fentanyl into Mexico is yet again another example of how they are seeking to damage the US.

Is this just a weather ballon that blew off course? US officials at the White House seem to be unconvinced and will continue to monitor the balloon, as reported.

UPDATED: Statement from the Pentagon was jaw dropping when a reporter asked if the public has a right to know about Beijing’s balloon.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” a DOD official responded.

 

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