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Iran admits who’s in charge — and it’s not the ones that talk to Team Biden

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Iran admits who’s in charge — and it’s not the ones that talk to Team Biden

A leaked audiotape confirms to the world what Iran watchers have always known: Politicians, including its president, aren’t in charge of that country — the “supreme leader” and his Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are. So why does Team Biden think there’s a point to drawn-out discussions with diplomats for a deal over which they have no dominion?

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is a dictator, so it’s no surprise he dictates all key decisions. The Revolutionary Guard, meanwhile, is an entire state-within-a-state, controlling much of the economy and answerable only (if that) to Khamenei.

And the country’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, admitted it all in a conversation not meant for publication. “In the Islamic Republic, the military field rules,” Zarif said last month, and the Guard often overrules civilian policies.

The tape (whose authenticity Tehran does not dispute) leaked to London-based network Iran International, which shared it with The New York Times.

Zarif said Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani funneled arms to Syria using Iran’s commercial airline and was actively trying to destabilize the region. Zarif added that Soleimani worked with Russia to undermine the nuke deal and revealed Khamenei had just “forcefully rebuked” him for saying Iran was open to working with America on synchronizing a return to the accord.

President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in recognition of these realities. His team designated the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, noting it uses its profits from its vast holdings not to feed starving citizens but to brutally repress them (and to export terror) while it enriches the elite.

Trump’s administration saw no point to negotiating with those who have no power.

Team Biden pretends it’s important to reach a new agreement before Iran’s presidential election in June. But that won’t change who’s in charge; nor will a deal be with the forces that actually rule Iran with iron fists.

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Opinion

No ethics needed for President Biden’s best buddies

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No ethics needed for President Biden’s best buddies

Packing his administration with Big Labor operatives matters more to President Joe Biden than his own much-ballyhooed ethics rules, and he’s not even embarrassed about it.

With great fanfare his first day in office, Biden signed an executive order mandating that all his appointees “in every executive agency” sign an “ethics pledge” that “contractually committed” them to refraining from participating “in any particular matter on which” they lobbied, along with “the specific issue area in which that particular matter falls,” for two years. They also couldn’t “seek or accept employment with any executive agency with respect to which” they lobbied for two years.

The media touted this “revolving-door ban” as far tougher than the Obama and Trump rules. Oops: It turns out Team Biden is handing out truckloads of ethics waivers to labor-union veterans.

The latest winner is Celeste Drake, Biden’s pick to head his new Made in America Office. Ethics restrictions that would have stopped her from communicating with previous employers the AFL-CIO and the Directors Guild of America won’t apply, Axios reports. “The successful accomplishment” of her “mission” requires “extensive, open and collaborative communications” between her office and Big Labor, a White House lawyer claimed in a disclosure memo.

In March, Team Biden waived rules for the Office of Personnel Management’s new director of intergovernmental affairs, Alethea Predeoux. Her work as the head lobbyist for the American Federation of Government Employees should have precluded her from any job at OPM.

Biden has given union hacks senior posts in the departments of Labor, Homeland Security and Education, as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (Not to mention letting the American Federation of Teachers dictate language to the Centers for Disease Control for its guidelines on school reopenings.)

And of course his larger agenda is one long union giveaway, from overturning state right-to-work laws to dumping trillions subsidizing and creating new unionized jobs.

Responding to the Axios report, a White House flack declared, “President Biden has stood strong for unions throughout his career, and he’s proud to have leading labor voices in the White House and throughout his administration helping to enact that agenda.”

In other words, ethics rules don’t apply to his besties.

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Opinion

I lived through NYC’s bad old days and know Eric Adams can get it back on track

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I lived through NYC's bad old days and know Eric Adams can get it back on track

Most of the mayoral candidates running in New York’s June 22 Democratic primary don’t seem to notice: The city is slipping back to the bad old days of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is the exception.

I was New York City Council president at that time; then-NYPD Sgt. Eric Adams used to come into my office to talk to me about the city, safety and crime, seniors and New York’s economic problems.

New York City was facing widespread lawlessness. Crime statistics were shooting up. Folks were fleeing the city. Seniors did not feel safe. Houses and apartments sold at bargain rates. Black and brown communities were suffering. The economy was down. The problems were endless.

Eric and I talked about crime, about increasing the police force and about the economy. He was worried about the city and its future.

Here we are again, 30 years later. And the choice we make for mayor will determine the future of New York.

Back then, Eric was smart, complicated and always thinking outside the box. He still is. Which is why I am going to vote for him: Eric Adams is the candidate who is going to move New York City ahead on the right trajectory. 

We cannot allow New York to once again become a city saturated with fear, insists Adams. At the same time, he notes, we face “a crisis of confidence in our police.” I agree: We can’t be asked to stand against the police; we must be for a better police force.

Some of the Democratic candidates talk about reducing the force. Yet Adams knows that if you don’t have a strong police force and a strong presence in every community, you’re not going to have a safe, strong city where jobs can come back for everyone.

He envisions a police force that connects precincts to the people and empowers communities to have a say in their precinct leadership. He’ll require the NYPD to keep lists of cops with records of complaints and violent incidents.

Meanwhile, the recent surge in shootings is frightening our seniors, our middle class and black and brown communities. Tourists don’t feel safe. Whether the shooting is in Times Square, Brownsville or Fordham Plaza, it must stop. Seniors are afraid to walk the streets in the middle of the day. Stray bullets are killing people.

Adams has the knowledge and the courage to staunch this spike. He believes New York’s economy will grow when the streets are safe. Small businesses can’t make a comeback until the streets are filled with employees.

Last Sunday, my good friend John Catsimatidis interviewed the beep on his radio show. Adams stressed that he’s concerned wealthy New Yorkers are leaving the city and believes a cleaner, safer New York would help keep them here.

“I don’t join the chorus that tells the 65,000 New Yorkers that are paying 51 percent of our income tax and are only 2 percent of our income-tax filers, I don’t join in the chorus that states, ‘So what if they leave?’” explained Adams. “I am just the opposite; I join the chorus that tells them, ‘We need you here.’”

Again, I fully agree. New York City is now in fierce competition with Florida and Texas to keep our financial leaders in the Big Apple. Florida’s cities are relatively new and clean — and they’re courting New Yorkers aggressively.

COVID-19 has driven many of our residents south, in search of more open space and sunshine. We’re in a really tough fight to keep these leaders of our economy here in New York, when other cities are offering them attractive alternatives and Zoom makes it possible to work from home.

I frequently run into folks who remember my investigation of nursing-home abuses and my advocacy for seniors and senior-citizen centers. When we talk about the mayor’s race they say, “We need a tough mayor who is going to stop crime and get the city on the right track.” They’re right. And that’s precisely why I’m endorsing Eric Adams for mayor.

Andrew Stein (D) was president of the New York City Council from 1986 to 1994.

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Opinion

Biden’s job-market mess and other commentary

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Biden’s job-market mess and other commentary

Conservative: Biden’s Job-Market Mess

With the economy reopening, “all that President Biden and his Democratic allies had to do for the jobs market to take off at or near historic levels was . . . do nothing, stupid,” snarks Andy Puzder at Fox Business. “Unfortunately, the temptation was too great.” In March, Democrats — “without a single Republican vote in the House or the Senate” — extended the federal $300 weekly jobless bonus until September. “The job market reacted immediately”: In April, the number of monthly new jobs plummeted to 266,000, from 770,000 in March, while the unemployment rate grew to 6.1 percent. Biden’s solution? “More of what’s causing the current problem in the first place — government spending”: He’s pushing his $2.3 trillion infrastructure and climate plan” and actually claiming it “will create new jobs.”

Liberal take: Don’t Bet on GOP Self-Destruction

Those thinking “the prospect of a divided Republican Party offers hope that this ‘civil war’ will redound to Democrats’ advantage in 2022 . . . shouldn’t be so sure,” Jeff Greenfield warns at Politico: “It’s getting harder to detect any serious division among rank-and-file Republicans.” And “history is littered with times that critics on the left, and in the pundit class, were positive the Republican Party was setting itself up for defeat by embracing its extremes . . . only to watch the party comfortably surge into power.” Fact is, “a Trump-dominated Republican Party is a strong contender to take the White House next time around. And, contrarian as it may seem, the lockstep devotion to the former president may actually enhance, rather than lessen, its chances.”

Media watch: Partisan Political ‘Science’

Academics “launder partisanship as political science,” finds The Washington Free Beacon’s Aaron Sibarium — and the media eat it up. Provocative headlines off a University of Washington study called GOP control “bad for democracy.” But many of the study’s “democracy indicators” — “same-day voter registration, felon enfranchisement, decarceration, no voter-ID laws” — “parallel the policy preferences of progressive activists,” not the public: “Most Republicans and over half of Democrats back voter-ID laws,” and more than three-quarters of Americans think the criminal-justice system is “too lenient” or “about right.” In other words, the study assumed that “maximizing democracy means defying the popular will.” Oops! Similar “research” that relied on indicators “scored by liberal academics” led to the CNN headline: “US Republicans are starting to look a lot like authoritarian parties in Hungary and Turkey, study finds.”

From the right: Joe’s ‘Neanderthal’ Slur

When, asks the Issues & Insights editorial board, will President Biden apologize for “using a slur a Republican could never get away with” by calling it “Neanderthal thinking” when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves opted to relax COVID restrictions? The data show that red states’ approach to the pandemic “performed no worse, and in some cases better, than the ‘enlightened’ thinking that gave us the masked-up, locked-down states.” But since “today’s Democrats and their media collaborators are convinced they are intellectually and morally superior to those who don’t agree with them,” they feel no need to “issue apologies for the mocking ridicule they so proudly dished out.”

Foreign desk: Don’t Empower Iran’s Belligerence

When the US Navy on May 6 seized a “stateless dhow in international waters” filled with an “illicit shipment of weapons,” Iran’s dictators cried “plausible deniability.” But don’t be fooled, Austin Bay writes at Creators; Iran’s “corrupt state planned, assembled and shipped the weapons.” Why? The regime “is intrinsically violent. It has been on the State Department’s state-sponsor of terrorism list since 1984.” The ship’s “destination was Yemen, an Indian Ocean beach or a small port in the Red Sea,” and for “over 15 years,” Iran “has armed and financed Yemen’s major rebel group, the Houthis.” Beware: “Ending economic sanctions will just give the mullahs more money to spend on proxy wars like the one in Yemen.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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