There’s nothing quite like the astonishment of progressives whenever their profound and enduring ignorance of human nature is thrust in upon them. And so it is with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his reaction to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s speech last Saturday. It was a speech during which the Supreme Leader reminded the world the hostility that exists between his nation and the United States is not about to be extinguished by the nuclear arms agreement.
“Whether the deal is approved or disapproved, we will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon,” said Khamenei following prayers that marked the end of Ramadan. “Even after this deal, our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change. We don’t have any negotiations or deal with the U.S. on different issues in the world or the region.” The ayatollah further insisted U.S. policies in the Middle East were "180 degrees” out of phase with those of his nation. Adding some “color" to Khamenei’s delivery on state television were audience members chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
Kerry was taken aback. “I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy,” he said during an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya News. “But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling, and we’ll have to wait and see. … We are not kidding when we talk about the importance of pushing back against extremism, against support for terrorism and proxies who are destabilizing other countries. It’s unacceptable.”
Pushing back against extremism? The Iranian deal bankrolls extremism, freeing up as much as $150 billion in frozen Iranian assets as soon as sanctions are lifted, a move that was virtually assured by the unanimous 15-0 vote of approval by the United Nations Security Council on Monday. Thus Iran will have plenty of money to fund its surrogate partners such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Our equally out of touch National Security adviser Susan Rice admitted as much in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, but insisted that “for the most part” Iran will spend the unfrozen money on the “Iranian people and their economy which has tanked.”
When Blitzer pressed Rice about funds that will be spent on terror-related activities, her bizarre response sounded very much like Khamenei’s take. She insisted the current deal "was never, and was not designed to prevent them from engaging in bad behavior in region. They’re doing that today. The goal is to ensure that they don’t have a nuclear weapon, and therefore, when they are engaging in that bad behavior, are that much more dangerous.”
In his interview, Kerry addressed the likelihood of Iran’s hegemonic ambitions, explaining he was in the Middle East to meet with Gulf States because the United States would be "very attentive to guaranteeing the security of the region.” One is left to wonder how Sunni Muslim-ruled Arab nations with whom Kerry will ostensibly be shoring up alliances can reconcile such guarantees with the reality of the United States enabling a Shi’ite-ruled Iran that remains the world’s foremost sponsor of state terrorism. Saudi royal family member Prince Bandar bin Sultan has already warned that his nation and other Gulf States "are prepared to take military action without American support after the Iran nuclear deal.” Back to you, Mr. Secretary.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has the even more unenviable task of convincing Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that ultimately enabling Iran’s nuclear ambitions is in the best interest of a nation Iran has vowed to wipe off the map. Rice apparently tried to soften the blow prior to Carter’s arrival last Sunday. On Saturday she called former Israeli President Shimon Peres and told him the Obama administration was ready to offer the Jewish State an extensive military package that was "unprecedented in its scope,” as Israel’s Channel 2 TV characterized it. Perez responded by expressing his dissatisfaction with the ludicrous inspections regime, a bureaucratic process involving all eight parities to the agreement—including Iran. From the time there is a request by an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspector (none of whom can be American) for access to a site and a requirement upon Iran to provide it, as many as 24 days could elapse, giving the Iranians plenty of time to hide incriminating evidence.
Rice insisted to Peres the U.S. has the capability to detect an early violation. One might be forgiven for questioning such capabilities, considering a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed by a surprise attack in Benghazi, or that the confidential information of 21.5 million Americans was recently stolen from federal government computers.
Yet it was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who cut right through the fatuous assertions of greater safety made by Obama administration. “Everybody talks about compensating Israel. If this deal is supposed to make Israel and its Arab neighbors safer, why should we need to be compensated with anything?” Netanyahu asked. "And how can you compensate my country against a terrorist regime that is sworn to our destruction and going to get a path to nuclear bombs?” Netanyahu also pooh-poohed U.S. capabilities, noting that Iranian activity taking place at underground facilities in Qom and Natanz went undetected by the West for years.
Moreover, as recently as yesterday, Khamenei's top foreign affairs adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, insisted inspectors won’t be allowed to "visit our military centers and interfere in decisions about the type of Iran's defensive weapons.” On Khamenei’s website, he went even further. “No one can tell us which weapons we can have.... Except nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, Iran will continue making all the missiles, fighter jets, anti-missile defence systems, tanks and other armoured equipment it needs,” he was quoted as saying.
Such defiance comes on top of the reality that nowhere in the 159-page deal is any mention of either the Bushehr reactor or the Parchin military plant. According to experts, Bushehr is capable of producing enough plutonium for a large number of atomic weapons, and Parchin is the suspected center of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program. Instead the deal produced a “roadmap” agreement requiring Iran to disclose military aspects of its nuclear program by October 15. That will be followed by a written assessment compiled by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano by December 15. Amano insists a visit to Parchin is part of the equation, but no date has been set, giving Iran plenty of time to “prepare" for it.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Velayati’s assessments, telling the Iranian parliament yesterday that ballistic missile usage "doesn’t violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).” And while it violates a paragraph in the annex of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, that resolution is “non-binding” as well as irrelevant, "because we don’t design any of our missiles for carrying nuclear weapons,” he added.
Khamenei wasn’t the only cleric raining on the Obama administration’s peace parade. Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, handpicked by the Supreme Leader to deliver last Friday’s prayers, stood behind a podium that contained the message "We Will Trample Upon America" written in Persian, and "we defeat the united states” printed in English right below it. Friday prayers are a state-sanctioned effort designed to reveal Khamenei’s thinking on issues, and Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, put this message in the proper perspective. “Khamenei is toying with Obama right now, humiliating him, but Obama is too self-absorbed to realize it,” Rubin said. “The best analogy to this would be if Roosevelt made peace with Hirohito who gave a speech under the banner ‘We will bomb Pearl Harbor anyway.’” Rubin also insisted Obama doesn’t want Congress to see the agreement because "to examine the agreement is to recognize that it’s more an unconditional surrender than an arms control agreement,” he stated.
Unconditional surrender is also an apt description of the so-called “snap back” sanctions that would ostensibly be reinstated in response to any violations of the deal. Already, Russia has reaffirmed it will proceed with selling Iran its state-of-the-art S-300 surface-to-air missile system, absent any objections from the Obama administration, and apparently in no violation of the deal’s five-year arms embargo. Moreover as The Guardian notes, EU firms are “racing to secure business opportunities” with Tehran. China looks forward to having its increasing energy needs met, along with being more able to implement a series of supra-national infrastructure projects known as the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. U.S. firms are also looking for business opportunities in Iran.
Couple those opportunities with a Chinese-Russian-Iranian alliance more than happy to stand against U.S. interests, and the notion that sanctions could be, or would be, snapped back is utterly absurd.
The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens offers another dose of sobering perspective in that regard. “Just as the U.S. can claim the deal is being violated, so too can Iran,” he explains. "If the West gets sanctions snap back, Tehran gets what Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies calls 'nuclear snap back.’” As a result Stephens envisions a scenario where preserving the deal takes precedence over everything else, with violations being treated as "differences of interpretation as to what the deal requires, or as arcane disputes over technical issues, or as responses to some Western provocation.”
Given the Obama administration’s well-documented appetite for lying unabashedly, the president’s yearning for a “historical legacy,” and the mainstream media’s penchant for protecting all things Obama, and it seems virtually certain that anything other than an egregiously blatant violation will be calculatingly ignored.
Ultimately, as Obama himself has warned us, it’s only a matter of time before Iran’s breakout point for getting a nuke would shrink "almost down to zero.”
In other words this is not a deal that will make the world a safer place. Its a slow-motion surrender the will ultimately empower the most nihilistic nation on earth.