John Kerry’s game plan: Appeasing Iran and forsaking our allies
By Robert Bradley | February 3, 2016, 13:40 EDT
A little more than two weeks ago, this administration’s multi-year effort to propitiate Iran came to fruition. Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 was “Implementation Day” for the Obama-Kerry Iran deal. On this day, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iran had curbed its nuclear weapons program enough to warrant relief from international sanctions.
And with that, the money began to flow.
Most analysts predict that Iran will receive as much as $100 billion over the coming months.
Almost immediately, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in France and Italy to fill up his shopping cart. Twenty agreements were signed after Rouhani met with French President Hollande last week. The deals include the purchase of 118 aircraft for $25 billion from Airbus to replace Iran Air’s decrepit fleet of planes and a joint venture between PSA Peugeot Citroen and Iran Khodro to produce automobiles in Tehran by the end of 2017.
What did the U.S. get in return?
An emboldened Iran. The world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, responsible for thousands of American deaths over the past few decades, did not just give up, or even change, its policies of subversion and aggression.
To the contrary, Iran not only went ahead with its ballistic missile program, but made it clear by launching a missile that it is accelerating its efforts to develop missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
But the humiliation of the U.S. was not complete. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave medals last week to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who captured the 10 American sailors whose patrol boats allegedly strayed into Iranian waters. The guards let the boats and crews go but not before the U.S. was deliberately and publicly humiliated when Iran broadcast photos to the world, including one which showed U.S. sailors on their knees with their hands behind their heads under their Iranian captors.
Secretary of State Kerry first hailed their quick release as sign of the new cooperation between Iran and America. Some cooperation!
Only later did Kerry realize that he had spiked the football in the end zone prematurely, saying that he was “infuriated” by the footage of the U.S. sailors.
Perhaps equally important, with one stroke of the pen, Iran became the leading regional power in the Mideast, as America under Kerry and Obama leans against Israel and shifts its allegiance from its Sunni allies to Iran, the dominant Shiite player in the Mideast. Iran was essentially welcomed back into the international community as a responsible state open to investment and trade.
And yet, in its upcoming parliamentary elections, Iran recently disqualified several thousand moderate and reform candidates from even seeking election.
So, what exactly did Obama and Kerry hope to gain from this deal?
President Obama, in his recent State of the Union address, claimed that the deal had succeeded in its goal to “prevent a nuclear-armed Iran” and that “Iran has rolled back its nuclear program.” But, as is so often the case with this administration, this appears to be the opposite of what Iran is broadcasting to the world: Former Iran President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani announced in January that “it is expected that the first fusion-based nuclear reactor will be constructed soon” [in Iran].
As Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy wrote this week, “few Americans understand that Iran keeps its nuclear infrastructure under the nuclear deal and will be allowed to expand it.” And of course, the verification protocols are a joke, giving Iran 24 days of warning before inspections are allowed.
Massachusetts citizens learned of another outrage last week. As NewBostonPost reporter Evan Lips wrote, all 10 charges against Iranian national Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, including exporting highly sensitive U.S. goods with nuclear applications, were dismissed last week in a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. According to the indictment, Jamili, along with co-conspirator Chen, was charged with procuring sensitive technology from an Andover company for use in Tehran’s nuclear weapons program in violation of U.S. sanctions, but Jamili went free. Kerry’s State Department’s finger prints are all over this deal, too.
But, as we saw in Vietnam four decades ago, Secretary of State Kerry has a history of treating America’s enemies better than its friends and being ashamed of America’s role as a global leader. January 2017 cannot come soon enough.
Robert Bradley is an investment advisor and entrepreneur. The views expressed in this column are his own and not those of his investment management firm. Read his past columns here.