Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

John Kerry Tag

If you had any concerns about Obama's Iran Deal rest assured, the news only gets worse. Speaking to a CNBC panel yesterday, John Kerry admitted that some of the money the U.S. is giving to Iran is likely to end up in the hands of terror groups. CNN reports:
John Kerry: Some sanctions relief money for Iran will go to terrorism Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged to CNBC Thursday that some of the money Iran received in sanctions relief would go to groups considered terrorists. When asked about whether some the $150 billion in sanctions relief to Iran would go to terrorist groups, Kerry reiterated that, after settling debts, Iran would receive closer to $55 billion. He conceded some of that could go to groups considered terrorists, saying there was nothing the U.S. could do to prevent that.

International financial sanctions against Iran are being lifted today as part of the Iran Nuclear Deal. The influx of tens of billions of funds are expected first to go to support Iranian efforts to destabilize the Middle East, including helping Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza. Not coincidentally, a prisoner swap also is taking place today between Iran and the U.S. HuffPo News reports:
As part of the exchange, the U.S. will release seven Iranians who were being held in the country on sanctions violations. All were born in Iran, but six are dual Iranian-American citizens. The seven men all have the option to remain in the U.S. The deal will bring home four Americans who have been imprisoned in Iran for years on trumped up charges, or in some cases no charges at all: Washington Post Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, and Nosratollah Khosrawi-Roodsari. The imprisonment of Khosrawi-Roodsari has never been previously reported.
Here is who Iran is getting back:

Two ongoing news stories that broke this past week show the Obama administration's contrasting styles towards America's top Middle East ally and a rogue nation that continues to flout international law. Obama and his top officials have no problem playing hardball with Israel, but become like Rex the dinosaur in Toy Story, who doesn't like confrontations, when dealing with  Iran. First, last Tuesday The Wall Street Journal (Google link) reported that the administration excluded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the list of foreign leaders it would not spy on after Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA regularly spied on friendly heads of state. Quoting current and former U.S. officials the spying on Netanyahu was deemed by Obama to be a “compelling national security purpose.” Of course the reason for this was Netanyahu's objections to the Iran nuclear deal. The fear was that Netanyahu would leak sensitive information he had been told by the United States in order to torpedo the deal. (Israel insisted that the secret details that it learned came from spying on Iran.)

If you ask me what the most important article in The New York Times of the past week, it would not be the front page editorial advocating stricter gun control. That editorial was important in terms of the mindset of the Times, but had little real new value. The most significant new article in The New York Times during this past week was Friday's analysis of the nuclear deal with Iran. The article is a devastating indictment of the administration and its zeal to reach a nuclear deal with Iran at all costs. To be sure the reporter, David Sanger, an excellent journalist, presented the administration's positions respectfully. But there's no getting around that however President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry justify their capitulations, they are willing to lift sanctions on Iran without requiring Iran to come clean about its past illicit nuclear research. In the wake of last week's IAEA report about Iran's past nuclear research, the administration is reportedly satisfied that Iran has provided the IAEA with enough information to close the investigation into Iran's past nuclear work and move ahead to the implementation of this summer's nuclear deal. The administration's rationale is that "preventing a nuclear-armed Iran in the future is far more important than trying to force it to admit" its past illicit nuclear research.

Armin Rosen of Business Insider had a bombshell report on Monday about the Obama administration's diplomatic malpractice with Iran in the context of the nuclear deal announced earlier this summer. Citing a recently obtained State Department document, Rosen reported that the administration has no intention of ensuring that Iran provide the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with all the details of its past nuclear research. Though "extensive evidence" exists that Iran had a nuclear weapons program until at least 2003, the United States has so watered down Iran's requirements for answering questions about its past nuclear work, that the IAEA  will not have a complete picture of the extent of Iran's military nuclear program. As IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano made clear earlier this week, Iran is still stonewalling. The problem is that the United States is okay with that. Rosen reported:

John Kerry, in a recent speech at Old Dominion University, insisted that climate change is a threat to national security. Carol Morello of the Washington Post reports:
Kerry says climate change impacts armies as much as polar bears Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Tuesday he will integrate climate change analysis and its national security implications into all future foreign policy planning. In a speech delivered at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, home to the world’s largest naval base and already experiencing flooding linked to climate change, Kerry called climate change a threat to national security.

John Kerry lost big this week as the Nobel Committee announced it was awarding the Nobel Peace Prize not to John Kerry, Secretary of State and erstwhile hero of the Iran nuclear deal negotiations, but to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. The Quartet formed in 2013 in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution. Tunisians were attempting a democracy, but the process was being stifled by political assassinations and social unrest. The Quartet turned the focus back onto individual rights, redirected the political process, and facilitated the creation of a constitutional system. Sounds a lot better than "facilitated a deadly deal with a belligerent nation," doesn't it?

By now, Sen. Jeff Flake's (R - Ariz.) announcement that he will oppose the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been overshadowed by Sen. Robert Menendez' (D - N.J.) Tuesday announcement of his opposition. Still, I'd like to revisit Flake's announcement because he was viewed by the administration, in the words of one report, as a "gettable" Republican. With Flake's announcement it now appears that President Barack Obama will not be able to claim bipartisan support for the JCPOA. I don't know how "gettable," Flake was. To be sure, at the July 23 Senate Foreign Relations hearing Flake was much less adversarial than most other Republicans on the committee, and that played a role in maintaining the impression that he perhaps looked favorably upon the deal. He also was less adversarial than Menendez. However, he asked Kerry some very solid questions and Kerry's responses were awful. How awful? Early in his question and answer session Flake asked Kerry about language in the JCPOA that allowed Iran to opt out if sanctions were re-imposed.

Following the nuclear negotiations with Iran, I am constantly amazed at the revelations that get reported (though often not widely enough) that document the administration's systematic capitulation to every single Iranian demand. Though it's probably not the most shocking news I've heard, the news broken by MEMRI, that already in 2011 President Barack Obama had conceded that Iran had the right to enrich uranium, is probably near the top. Before any serious negotiations were underway the administration gave away its most significant bargaining chip. The Free Beacon summarized MEMRI's report:
President Barack Obama approved of Iran’s right to operate a nuclear program in 2011 during secret meetings with Iranian officials, according to new disclosures by Iran’s Supreme Leader. ... Secretary of State John Kerry sent a letter to Iran stating that the United States “recognizes Iran’s rights regarding” nuclear enrichment, according to another senior Iranian official, Hossein Sheikh Al-Islam. “We came to the [secret] negotiations [with the United States] after Kerry wrote a letter and sent it to us via [mediator Omani Sultan Qaboos], stating that America officially recognizes Iran’s rights regarding the [nuclear fuel] enrichment cycle,” Al-Islam said in a recent interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency, according to MEMRI.
Keep in mind that Kerry, at this point was a senator, not the Secretary of State and that it was the vitriolic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was president of Iran, before the "moderate" Hassan Rouhani was anything more than a gleam in the eyes of our top Iran experts.

With each passing day, it looks more certain that Obama will get his way on Iran. The Republicans in Congress will not persuade enough of their blue colleagues to defy Obama. Not that this comes as a surprise. The President has run circles around Republicans for as long as anyone can remember. Why should now be any different? But even Obama’s luck can run out eventually. A report suggests that a senior French diplomat is having second thoughts; there are whispers that other European leaders may be seeing the light. We can wistfully ponder the possibilities Congress might open up if, by some miracle, that light reaches its Democratic precincts. As it were, the sensible alternative to no deal is actually not war, but no deal. Full stop. John Kerry may hold forth that no deal spells war. But what he really means is that only those who want war could possibly oppose him. It’s a primitive scare-tactic.

There John Kerry goes again. Jeffrey Goldberg, the go-to person when the Obama administration wants to get its position out because Goldberg is pro-Israel, landed an interview with John Kerry. The topline storyline is that Kerry is warning the U.S. Congress not to screw (with?) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei:
“The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,” Kerry said. “This”—a congressional rejection—“will be the ultimate screwing.” He went on to argue that “the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.”
Seriously, we are afraid of ruining the expectations of an Ayatollah who defends calling for the death of America and Israel;

Today US Secretary of State John Kerry sat alongside Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz for a brutal afternoon of questioning before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the nuclear agreement arranged between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna earlier this month. Throughout the hearing, Kerry attempted to stand firm on his previous assertions that the deal Congress will be voting on in September is "all or nothing;" republican committee members, however, voiced skepticism about whether or not a "deal" with Iran was even possible. From the Houston Chronicle, via the AP:
"If Congress does not support the deal, we would see this deal die — with no other options," Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday as he testified for the second time in a week, part of the Obama administration's all-out campaign to sell the accord. ... "Iran has cheated on every agreement they've signed," said Rep. Ed Royce, the panel's chairman. With Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew waiting to testify, he asked if Tehran "has earned the right to be trusted" given its history.

The day after Secretary of State Kerry finished negotiating his disastrous nuclear agreement with Iran, President Obama asserted that, “ninety-nine percent of the world community” supports it. Like so many of the President’s statements on this topic, this one is both false and irrelevant. Our culturally closest friend, Canada, has already stated that it intends to keep its own sanctions on Iran in place. India’s defense establishment, meanwhile, is concerned and preparing for a Middle East arms race. Saudi Arabia may be the only Arab state that has openly opposed it, however, the other Persian Gulf nations have also indicated their disapproval. In Israel, opposition comes not only from Prime Minister Netanyahu, as Obama would have us believe, but from across the political spectrum.

John Kerry testified before a senate panel about the awful Iran deal Thursday and was met by skepticism and derision from lawmakers in both parties. In a classic Democrat defense move, Kerry again tried to spin the issue and suggest it's his critics who are being unrealistic. CNN reported:
Kerry to senators: No 'fantasy' alternative to Iran deal Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that there is no "unicorn" or "fantasy" alternative if the U.S. rejects the deal, which the administration maintains will keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon but which many Republicans see as providing Iran a path to a bomb. But Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Tennesse Republican, said that the U.S. had been "fleeced" and that Kerry had "turned Iran from being a pariah, to now Congress being a pariah" in the course of making the agreement. And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, repeatedly warned that the next president could overturn the deal, which isn't a binding treaty.
Here's a short highlight reel:

John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz appeared on FOX News Sunday this past weekend and answered questions from Chris Wallace on the terms of the Iran Deal. Wallace focused on the 24 day lead Iran will be given for inspections, which Kerry suggested is perfectly acceptable. Moniz also clarified his earlier remarks on the subject. David Rutz of the Washington Free Beacon reported:
Kerry: I Never Sought ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ Inspections in Iran Nuclear Negotiations Secretary of State John Kerry, in a talking point similar to White House official Ben Rhodes earlier this week, claimed on Fox News Sunday he never seen discussed the idea of “anywhere, anytime” inspections in the Iran nuclear deal. Host Chris Wallace mentioned the 24-day period Iran can stave off inspections as part of the agreement and how that hardly constituted meeting those standards before Kerry rebuked him. “Well, that’s not accurate,” Kerry said. “I never, in four years, had a discussion about anywhere, anytime.” Like Rhodes’ statement, this contradicts earlier statements made by the Obama administration, and it also makes it painfully clear the White House never thought this extremely important verification measure was ever realistic. President Obama, in April, said that the world would know if Iran cheated on the deal, and Wallace pointed out he said nothing about 24 days.
Watch the video:

As time goes on, and the Iran nuclear negotiations continue, it's hard to escape the thought that the Obama administration is becoming more and more desperate for a deal. Any deal. Here are recent developments: John Kerry, in his usual clear-as-mud manner, says that "We will not rush and we will not be rushed." On the other hand, negotiations “will not be open-ended.” What does that tell us about how close the parties are to an agreement? Nothing. He also said the agreement needs to “withstand the test of time,” and that “It’s a test for decades.”
ABC US News | World News