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Tag Archives: Iran

Pompeo Blasts Kerry’s “Unseemly” Undermining of Trump’s Foreign Policy

What happened to all the talk about the Logan Act, now that Democrats are conducting foreign policy as private citizens?

From the Logan Act:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Trump officials were threatened with the act, which is never enforced, for actions taken after the election but before the inauguration. But they were the incoming administration. It would be foolish of them not to have some contact with foreign leaders. Kerry is the administration that just left power. There’s a big difference. Evidently, he thinks he is still secretary of state.

Kerry admits he’s been engaging in chats with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in which Kerry appears to be trying to extract good behavior from the Iranians in order to mitigate the case for President Trump’s moves to scuttle the Iran nuclear deal. Other countries that are party to the deal so far have not gone along with Trump.

Kerry admitted in an interview this week that he is conducting foreign policy:

What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better. You know, how does one resolve Yemen? What do you do to try to get peace in Syria? I mean, those are the things that really are preoccupying, because those are the impediments to people, to Iran’s ability to convince people that it’s ready to embrace something different. I mean, and I’ve been very blunt to Foreign Minister Zarif, and told him look, you guys need to recognize that the world does not appreciate what’s happening with missiles, what’s happening with Hezbollah, what’s happening with Yemen. You’re supporting you know, an ongoing struggle there They say they’re prepared to negotiate and to resolve these issues.

The actual secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, Friday blasted Kerry for playing dress up:

“It’s inconsistent with what the foreign policy of the United States is, as directed by this president, and it’s beyond inappropriate,” Pompeo said during an appearance at the State Department. “I’ll leave the legal determinations to others, but what Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented.”

Trump Formally Reimposes Certain Sanctions on Iran

From a statement by the president issued by the White House:

Today, the United States is taking action to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions with respect to Iran that were lifted in connection with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015 (the “JCPOA”). These actions include reimposing sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector and on its trade in gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions related to the Iranian rial. These measures will take effect on August 7, 2018.

All remaining United States nuclear-related sanctions will resume effective November 5, 2018. These include sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector, including petroleum-related transactions, as well as transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran . . .

My actions today – including my signing of an Executive Order entitled “Reimposing Certain Sanctions with Respect to Iran” – are consistent with National Security Presidential Memorandum-11 of May 8, 2018, announcing the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA.

The JCPOA, a horrible, one-sided deal, failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos.

Since the deal was reached, Iran’s aggression has only increased. The regime has used the windfall of newly accessible funds it received under the JCPOA to build nuclear-capable missiles, fund terrorism, and fuel conflict across the Middle East and beyond.

To this day, Iran threatens the United States and our allies, undermines the international financial system, and supports terrorism and militant proxies around the world.

Trump to Iran: Never, Ever Threaten the United States Again

Iran threatened the United States. President Trump told them not to do that.

“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani had told a meeting of Iranian diplomats.

While it certainly feels great to respond so forcefully, I’d like to know if Trump is ready for a war with Iran. I’m certainly not. Unless Iran is on the verge of making nuclear weapons, there’s no reason to start a war at the very moment protests within Iran are gaining strength.

The difference here is that Iran makes idle threats we can ignore. The United States should never make idle threats, because doing so undermines the legitimacy of what we say and destroys our ability to influence world events.

I assume Iran will shut up, because they don’t know what Trump will do. Because if we don’t know what Trump will do, then they don’t.

But Trump should not be threatening war in any case. Now that he has ended the Iran nuclear deal, let the sanctions have their effect, step up propganda toward average Iranians, and see if the Ayatollahs are overthrown.

Senate Report: Obama Officials Repeatedly Lied to Congress About Iran Finances

The Obama administration repeatedly lied to Congress about whether Iran would be able to access the U.S. financial system as Obama officials completed, and the Senate vote on, a nuclear with the rogue nation.

According to the report, released Wednesday by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Iran was desperate to access billions of dollars stored abroad. The most efficient way to do this was to use the U.S. banking system in order to convert the funds into Euros. But it had been barred as part of sanctions regime from using U.S. banks, even under the Iran deal.

Both before and after the deal was signed and voted on by Senate, the Obama administration assured Congress that Iran would not be able to access U.S. banks. But not only did it allow Iran to do so, it encouraged U.S. banks to complete transactions for Iran. The banks refused, however.

From the report:

As the United States negotiated with Iran, one important U.S. interest consistently remained off-limits: Iran would not be granted access to either the U.S. financial system or the U.S. dollar.

Senior U.S. government officials repeatedly testified to Congress that Iranian access to the U.S. financial system was not on the table or part of any deal. This notwithstanding, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, at the direction of the U.S. State Department, granted a specific license that authorized a conversion of Iranian assets worth billions of U.S. dollars using the U.S. financial system. Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system.

For example, in July 2015, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that, under the JCPOA, Iran “will continue to be denied access to the [U.S.’s] financial and commercial market.”

The Senate disapproved the deal in September 2015, but not by enough votes to sink it. Six months later, the Obama administration was still lying about it.

From the report:

In March 2016, Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk wrote to the Treasury Department to seek clarity on “new reports suggesting the Administration is working to give Iran access to the U.S. financial system or to dollar transactions outside of the U.S. financial system.” The Treasury Department responded in June 2016:

“To be clear, the U.S. Department of Treasury is not working on behalf of Iran to enable Iranian access to U.S. dollars elsewhere in the international financial system, nor are we assisting Iran in gaining access to dollar payment systems outside the U.S. financial system. The Administration has not been and is not planning to grant Iran access to the U.S. financial system.”

Just three months earlier, the same agency issued a specific license for Iran to access to the U.S. financial system and the U.S. dollar.

Iran eventually found other ways to convert its money to Euros so it could access it.

H/T Washington Examiner.

Hillary Clinton on Iran Deal Withdrawal: “Our Credibility is Shot”

Actually, no.

Hillary Clinton complained Wednesday that nobody’s going to trust the United States anymore now that President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

First of all, please, shut up. You were picked to be secretary of state without having an ounce of foreign policy or negotiating experience, and it showed, much to our detriment.

And go away. Your credibility is shot when you set up a secret email server, dropped classified information on it, and deleted 3,000 emails.

Secondly, the credibility of the United States was shot when Barack Obama decided to violate the Constitution and negotiate a treaty without getting the approval of the United States Senate. In fact, not only did Obama not have the two-thirds majority needed to approve the agreement under the Constitution, there were about 58 senators who were against it.

So what was negotiated was not an agreement between the United States and Iran. It was an agreement between Barack Obama and Iran. And Barack Obama is no longer president.

Obama Disgruntled About Trump Decision to Scrap the Iran Deal

Here’s a short part of a very long Facebook lecture by Barack Obama on President Trump’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal:

There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.

The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest – it has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea. Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.

That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.

Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts about the JCPOA.

And then he goes on and on some more with “facts.”

Actually, this is not what we are trying to do in North Korea. In North Korea, we are trying to completely denuclearize the country, not leave it with a program that it can begin developing again in a few years right up to the point where it can produce mass numbers of weapons.

Obama should stop whining. He went and signed a bad, unpopular treaty and then violated the Constitution by not submitting it for approval by the Senate. Instead, he turned the Constitution on its head by making the Senate have to vote to disapprove it, which it couldn’t.

Without Senate confirmation of the agreement, it can be simply overturned by his successor. Too bad, Obama.

 

Trump to Kerry: “You Are Hurting Our Country”

So what’s new?

John Kerry was a disastrous secretary of state who gave us the ruinous Iran deal, did nothing about North Korea, and now is interfering with President Trump’s foreign policy by illegally conducting his own.

Kerry has been meeting with foreign leaders, including the Iranians, in an attempt to save his precious, painstakingly negotiated handiwork.

Trump tweeted Tuesday morning:

As usual, Trump has homed right in on his enemy’s weakness. Kerry no doubt can’t get over the fact that he never became president. So he had to do “big things” as secretary of state. He tried to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and when that failed, he struck a grand bargain with the ayatollahs that essentially just delays recognition of their nuclear program.

I think Trump should confront Iran, but I think he should wait until he has settled things with North Korea, as I wrote here. But John Kerry needs to spend more time sail surfing and less time adding to the damage he has done to this country.

I mean, the guy can’t even figure out whether to give a hug or a handshake.

Panetta Joins Criticism of Obama’s Failure to Back Iran’s Green Revolution

President Obama’s former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta Tuesday joined critics of Obama’s failure to support the massive 2009 Green Revolution in Iran. Panetta told CNN: I do think that that was an appropriate time for the United States to have sent a clearer message that we stand by those who try… Continue Reading

Obama Allowed Cocaine to Flow into the U.S. to Get His Iran Deal

The Obama administration blew up an investigation into drug trafficking by Hezbollah into the United States for fear of displeasing Iran, with which President Obama was seeking to strike a nuclear deal, according to a bombshell new report by Politico. Obama went to great lengths to appease Iran, including letting the 2009 Green Revolution against the… Continue Reading

Obama Hid Iran’s Ties to al Qaeda

A new batch of documents found in Osama Bin Laden’s lair when he was terminated have finally been released, and they demonstrate far closer ties between Iran and al Qaeda than Barack Obama let on. From an analysis by Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute: The real scandal now seems to be how Obama… Continue Reading