Kerry Argues Iran Deal Contained Rather Than Enabled Iran, Mike Doran Has a Few Things to Say

Former Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during the Boston Climate Summit in Boston, Thursday, June 7, 2018. About two dozen mayors and city leaders were attending the event, billed as a chance to explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the challenges posed by climate change. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

 

Former Secretary of State John Kerry wrote an opinion piece for the NY Times on Thursday blaming President Donald Trump for “conflict and turmoil with Iran,” arguing that “diplomacy was working until Trump abandoned it.

There’s a lot we could dispute and but let’s just take a look at a couple of things.

Here’s what Kerry says about IRGC terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani.

Let’s get one straw man out of the way. General Suleimani was a sworn, unapologetic enemy of the United States, a cagey field marshal who oversaw Iran’s long strategy to extend the country’s influence through sectarian proxies in the region. He won’t be mourned or missed by anyone in the West. Occasionally, when American and Iranian interests aligned, as they did in fighting ISIS, we were the serendipitous beneficiaries of his relationships and levers, as were the Iraqis. But this was a rare exception.

That underscores the tragic irony of Mr. Trump’s decision to abrogate the nuclear agreement: It played into General Suleimani’s hard-line strategy by weakening voices for diplomacy within the Tehran regime. What Iranian diplomat would be empowered by a skeptical supreme leader to explore de-escalation with a country that broke its word on a historic agreement and then, in their words, “martyred” arguably Iran’s second most powerful figure?

So the Iran Deal was about diplomacy and helping the moderates against the hardliners like Soleimani, according to Kerry. He acknowledges Soleimani was a sworn enemy (although he doesn’t use the word terrorist despite the fact he was officially designated as such and the IRGC a terrorist organization) and Trump is playing into the hands of the hardliners.

But what happened under the Iran Deal? The Iran Deal reportedly released sanctions that had personally existed on Soleimani and other IRGC terrorist leaders. It released reportedly $150 billion to Iran, although Kerry argued that it was effectively less than that. He acknowledged that some of the money would go to terrorists. Well, of course, when you lift sanctions on those terrorists. So who was “appealing to hardliners?” The ones doing an airstrike to stop their attacks or the ones releasing money to them?

Michael Doran is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute. He specializes in Middle East security issues. During the administration of George W. Bush, he served as a senior director in the National Security Council. One of his responsibilities was dealing with issues related to Iran.

He was clearly not happy with Kerry’s little revisionist article.

Well, well, well. Please feel free to share.

Sounds like there’s a lot more there, deserving of attention. Pass the popcorn.

Paging President Trump for the declassification…

HT: Twitchy