Remember the nuclear deal with Iran? The deal we were told would bring peace and stability to the Middle East? The one that would open a new era in the relationship between Washington and Tehran? The deal that people only opposed because they were warmongers? The deal that was touted as President Obama’s biggest foreign policy accomplishment?
Well, the Iran deal is back in the news again–and it does not look good for Obama, John Kerry, and the rest of the deal’s advocates.
The Politico Bombshell
On Sunday night, Politico published a lengthy, three-part report alleging that the Obama Administration threw roadblocks in the way of investigations into Hezbollah. Those investigations, dubbed “Project Cassandra,” were targeting Hezbollah’s cocaine and money laundering enterprises. Why? They wanted to curry favor with Iran during negotiations.
Hezbollah is the Lebanese Shia terrorist group bankrolled by Tehran. It is perhaps best known for the Beirut barracks bombing that killed 241 US servicemen in 1983. Other notable Hezbollah attacks include the 1992 bombing of an Israeli embassy and 1994’s AMIA bombing, both in Buenos Aires. They also fought a war with Israel in 2006.
The willingness to ignore Hezbollah’s cocaine trade and money laundering is just another shameful example of the previous Administration’s Iran policy.
The Iran “Deal”
The pretext for the Iran deal was justified by claims that Iran was moderating, and Hassan Rouhani’s election was supposedly proof. Even if we bought the nonsensical argument that Rouhani is some sort of reformer, we now know this was false. Talks actually began in the final months of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency.
The United States and Iran, along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China, eventually started working on the nuclear deal. The European Union also tagged along. Initially, it was said that no deal was better than a bad deal, but that attitude changed very quickly. It became evident that Obama and Kerry wanted a deal so desperately that they were prepared to sell the farm.
The final product was so bad that the socialist government of France torpedoed the original deal in 2013. But eventually, France came along and the current deal was signed.
In the meantime, Team Obama went into PR overdrive. The leader of the PR campaign was Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. Knowing that the media is populated with journalists, and not foreign policy wonks, Rhodes sought to create an “echo chamber.” This echo chamber was full of experts who dutifully regurgitated “what we had given them to say.” Rhodes was also the one who pushed the false dichotomy that it was either this deal or war. Thus, the Administration’s narrative went largely unchallenged in the press. Anyone who challenged them was an enemy of peace–just like the Iranian hardliners.
A Disastrous Legacy
This is the setting in which the Iran deal was signed. It was full of lies about the negotiations and false depictions of the Iranian regime. Rouhani is no moderate. The only reason one can become President of Iran is if the Ayatollah and his cronies let you.
Obama and his team were prepared to do anything to get a deal. Not only did they sell the farm at the negotiating table, but they put up with blatant violations of American sovereignty and interests to do so. They let Iranian-backed Houthis fire missiles at our ships, put up with the kidnapping of our sailors, ignored an ever-expanding Iranian missile program that kept showing up in Yemen, and made the infamous $1.7 billion cash payment to Iran.
Worst of all, they seemed to welcome expanding Iran influence. Obama even said that Iran could be a “very successful regional power.”
One has to wonder what Iran would have had to do to get the previous Administration to walk away for the table. You would be forgiven if you thought that Iran was the global superpower and the United States was the inferior regional power. We now know, thanks to Politico, that Obama was even prepared to let an Iranian proxy continue its cocaine enterprise in the Western Hemisphere. He would do almost anything to keep his precious deal with the Mullahs.