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Anonymous U.S. Official: Taliban Offered to Let US Take Control of Kabul, Biden Admin Said No, Just Needed Airport

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Kabul Airport

U.S. official that spoke to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity describes a decision presented to the Biden administration during meetings with the Taliban. According to the official, the Taliban’s Abdul Ghani Baradar stated, “we have a problem.” Then continued, “we have two options to deal with it: You [the U.S. military] take responsibility for securing Kabul or you have to allow us to do it.”

Journalist Noah Rothman tweeted the Post’s article with the comment, “this report alleges that the head of the Taliban political wing offered to all but cede Kabul to the US and Biden declined.”

The meeting took place as Afghanistan President Ghani fled the country and U.S. military officials met with Taliban’s leaders in Doha, Qatar to discuss the fate of the country. General Kenneth McKenzie Jr, Commander of the U.S. Central Command (USCC) “reportedly communicated to Baradar that the U.S. military’s only objective was to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies out of Kabul, for which the airport was needed” reports the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“At the meeting, the two parties reportedly reached an agreement; the U.S. would control the Kabul airport until the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline, and the Taliban would advance into Kabul, despite an earlier deal with the U.S.-backed government of Afghanistan, according to WaPo,” writes DCNF.

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International

Iran Launches Missile Into Space As Biden Admin Fails To Negotiate New Nuclear Deal

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Joe Biden

On Sunday, Iran’s state television announced that the country had launched a solid-fueled rocket into space, drawing criticism from the United States ahead of plans for continued negotiations over the Iranian nuclear deal.

“It’s unclear when or where the rocket was launched, but the announcement came after satellite photos showed preparations at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s rural Semnan province, the site of Iran’s frequent failed attempts to put a satellite into orbit,” the Associated Press reported. “Iran had previously acknowledged that it planned more tests for the satellite-carrying rocket, which it first launched in February of last year.”

“Ahmad Hosseini, spokesman for Iran’s Defense Ministry, said Zuljanah, a 25.5 meter-long rocket, was capable of carrying a satellite of 220 kilograms (485 pounds) that would ultimately gather data in low-earth orbit and promote Iran’s space industry. Zuljanah is named for the horse of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad,” the Associated Press added.

According to the report, the White House is aware of Iran’s announcement and said the move was “unhelpful and destabilizing.”

Iran’s state-run media aired dramatic footage of the missile launch amid heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, which has accelerated as President Biden’s administration has failed to negotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran.

According to a report earlier this year, three Biden administration negotiators working on a renewed nuclear deal with Iran gave up and left the team because they thought that President Biden was being too weak in dealing with Iran during negotiations.

“U.S. officials confirmed over the weekend that Richard Nephew, the deputy special envoy for Iran, has left the team. Mr. Nephew, an architect of previous economic sanctions on Iran, had advocated a tougher posture in the current negotiations, and he hasn’t attended the talks in Vienna since early December,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Two other members of the team, which is led by State Department veteran Robert Malley, have stepped back from the talks, the people familiar said, because they also wanted a harder negotiating stance.”

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Economy

Biden Suggests Only Solution To Gas Prices Is Letting Putin Invade Europe

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Joe Biden

On Wednesday, President Biden suggested that the only solution to high gas prices is to allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade parts of Europe.

“For all those Republicans in Congress criticizing me today for high gas prices in America, are you now saying we were wrong to support Ukraine?” Biden said. “Are you saying we were wrong to stand up to Putin?  Are you saying that we would rather have lower gas prices in America and Putin’s iron fist in Europe?”

“I don’t believe that,” he continued. “Look, I get the easy politics of the attack.  I get that.  But the simple truth is gas prices are up almost $2.00 a gallon because of Vladimir Putin’s ruthless attack on Ukraine, and we wouldn’t let him get away with it.  And we’re doing everything we can to reduce this pain at the pump now.”

However, the increase in gas prices since Russia invaded Ukraine is closer to $1 than it is to $2. On February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, national gas prices were at $3.54 per gallon, and on June 22, the day of Biden’s speech, gas prices were at $4.95 per gallon – which is an increase of $1.41.

Gas prices began rising shortly after Biden took office. From January 20, 2021, to February 24, 2022, gas prices soared from $2.40 per gallon to $3.54 per gallon – an increase of nearly 50 percent.

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