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Democrat Senator faults Trump for Americans left behind in Afghanistan

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By Jenny Goldsberry

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) appeared on CNN to blame former President Trump for the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. According to her, it’s been a tough process to get Afghans out of the country since Trump was in office. The senator called in from Honolulu.

“Let’s be clear, though, that there are a lot of Afghans who were applying for the special immigrant visas, and the Trump Administration slow walked these visas to the point where it was not even happening,” Hirono said. “So the development of a lot of our Afghan partners and their families who are not able to get out is not something that just happened overnight. This is a situation that was very much on, in my view, the Trump administration.”

In February of 2020, the former president had set the withdrawal date for May 1, 2021. It was a deal he’d struck with Taliban insurgents at the time.

“But we’re going to move forward and do everything we can to get all of these people out in the coming months and however long it’s going to take with partners across the world,” Hirono said.

General Kenneth McKenzie confirmed Monday that over 123,000 civilians had been successfully evacuated.

After her segment on CNN, Hirono tweeted her gratitude for the U.S. military’s efforts in securing the airfield to allow all the evacuations. “Our military deserves our gratitude for their tremendous effort in evacuating more than 122,000 people from Afghanistan in just a few weeks,” she tweeted. “After the deadline, we need to use diplomatic, economic and other means to evacuate remaining U.S. citizens, Afghan partners, and others.”

The last member of the military was reportedly already left Afghanistan Monday.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Iranian Americans and exiles increase pressure on Biden to end negotiations with Iran

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Iran

As the world rallies around the women’s rights movement protesting the Islamic regime following the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, the pressure on Biden to cease nuclear negotiations intensifies.

“Iranian Americans have held rallies in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and many other places in the U.S., chanting for the downfall of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, while calling on the international community to help” writes the Foreign Desk.

During a Sunday rally at the Los Angeles Federal building in Westwood, many young and old attendees spoke to the Foreign Desk and explained their reasons for being against a nuclear agreement while speaking on condition of anonymity:

While many Iranians have been vocal on social media and are attending solidarity protests, most are still fearful of retribution against their friends and family in Iran and requested that their actual names not be used in writing this piece. 

Some Iranian Americans stated that negotiations with Iranian officials would “legitimize the regime and their actions.” Other rallygoers explained that by negotiating with Iran’s regime and removing the economic sanctions, the regime could “build a nuclear bomb against Israel and the U.S..” Instead, they argued that the President should “do more” to punish the Islamic regime and “target its leadership.”

Young Iranian immigrants at the rally argued that instead of removing economic sanctions as stipulated in the nuclear negotiations, the President should actually “put more economic sanctions on the regime,” and that by placing harsher sanctions on the regime, their friends, family members, and the whole country would suffer, but it would significantly “hurt the regime.” 

When asked if they were confident that President Biden would stop negotiations with the regime, many believed that the administration would continue their talks, no matter how big the outcry.

The Foreign Desk  explains that the Iranian regime continues to crack down on protesters without relent. However, the State Department has again confirmed its intention to pursue a nuclear agreement with Iran’s regime.

“We are doing everything we can not only to support the human rights and the aspirations for greater freedom of the Iranian people, but also to hold accountable those within the Iranian system that are responsible for violence against the Iranian people,” said U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price. “When it comes to Iran, though, there would be no greater challenge to the U.S., to our partners, and to the broader international system than an Iran with a nuclear weapon,” said Price.

Price acknowledged that while a deal is not guaranteed to come together, he stated that America has been “sincere and steadfast” in negotiating a potential return to the nuclear agreement but reiterated that the U.S. is “not willing to bend.”

Many experts are comparing the President’s decision to negotiate with the regime amid the crackdowns to President Obama’s actions during the 2009 Green Revolution, where Iranian citizens took to the streets to protest the rigged presidential election results.

Iranian leaders like exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi stated that a nuclear agreement with Iran would be “worse” than the one signed in 2015.

“The Iranian regime has the capability, the technology, and the material to fabricate a bomb,” Pahlavi said. According to the Prince, the failure of the original Iran nuclear agreement would result in “the regime becoming even more radical.”

“Repeating the same mistake with hindsight is even worse than the first one,” he added.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate have called on the administration to cancel nuclear negotiations with Iran and enact a maximum pressure campaign against the regime just like the former Trump administration did. Members of Congress from both political sides have vowed that they will not vote to lift sanctions from Iran or officially finalize a nuclear agreement should one come through.

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