The talking points the State Department has been they've been using for the past few days is the arms embargo was designed to bring Iran to the negotiating table, so that once the Iranians accepted negotiations all the administration could do was delay the inevitable. Interesting argument, however
This is a nuclear negotiation about a nuclear program. The United Nations, when they passed the resolution, contemplated that if Iran came to the negotiation and they ponied up, all the sanctions would be lifted. We didn’t lift all the sanctions. We left in place despite the fact that three out of seven countries negotiating wanted to do away with them altogether. We won the five years for the arms and eight years for the missiles.If Kerry had
The lifting of the arms and missile embargoes was a last minute demand by the Iran side, if the U.S. was going to give in on that point they should have elicited another concession from Tehran, like the release of the four Americans they are holding. Kerry said he brought up the prisoner release ever day adding that if he insisted the Iranians would want more. But when the Iranians wanted more John Kerry sat on his ass.
Kerry also claimed that even with the lifting of the embargoes Iran would not be able to arm the terrorist groups (
[T]hey add on to additional mechanisms that we have to hold them accountable on arms and missiles. We have the missile control technology regime. We have other missile restraints on them. We also have other UN resolutions that prevent them from moving arms to the Houthi, prevents them from moving arms to the Shia, prevents them from – to the Shia militia in Iraq, prevents them from moving arms to Hezbollah.Back in January former Israeli National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror outlined the threats to the Jewish State from non-state entities in a report released by the Begin Center for Strategic Studies (BESA). The most serious existential threat to the Jewish State by non-state entities is the terrorist group Hezbollah, with 150,000 missiles, which according to the General is a “rare and substantial firepower apparently even exceeded the firepower possessed by most of the European states combined.”
If Iran was able to arm the Hezbollah terrorists with 150,000 missiles in the nine years since their 2006 war with Israel while under an arms embargo, just imagine what they will be able to do for Hezbollah and their other terrorist clients once the embargo is lifted.
Then there is the issue of $150 billion dollars of frozen Iranian money, which will be unfrozen (note Kerry insists its “only” $100 billion).
That cash windfall will occur within months of the deal being implemented, but on top of that the sanctions regime will be shredded; the Iran economy (including oil sales) will be back in business, and the rogue regime will reap hundreds of billions of dollars. Businesses from all over the world are frothing at their mouths, eager to do business in Iran.
And here’s fun part of the agreement not discussed by Kerry, should there be a violation leading to a “snapback” of the sanctions, the companies that will have already set up shop in the rogue regime will be able to keep operating there. Making the promised snap-backs more of a joke than anything else. Actually the “joke’ is on the American people and it is not very funny.
During Tuesday's State Department briefing, the Associated Press' Matt Lee brought up
Lee: Going back to the -- still on Iran, I want to go back to the Hill issue, not the documents.
Lee: But the Secretary going up there.
Lee: You said the Secretary very much looks forward to these engagements on the Hill. Does he really?
Kirby: He does, actually.
Lee: Yeah? Does he think that he's actually going to be able to change anyone's minds?
Kirby: We certainly hope so.
Lee: He does.
Kirby: We certainly hope so. And I hope -- I wasn't exaggerating, I mean, he is looking forward to this.
Lee: So he...
Kirby: He -- he believes that this is the right deal, that it's solid, that it achieves the objectives that we sought out to achieve. In fact, in some cases, exceeds some of our expectations and that if you look at it logically, and you examine all of it, really read it and try to understand it, he's convinced that he can convince others as well. That's certainly his -- his hope and expectation.
Lee: OK. Well, I guess that remains to be seen, but I mean, he's raring for a fight, obviously. You said in some cases, this exceeds our expectations. In which cases would that be?
Kirby: Yeah, I was afraid when I said that that you were going to ask me that follow up. Let me -- let me get you an answer right after, because I don't have the Lausanne agreement right in front of me, but I'll -- we'll get you an update on that.
Lee: Can -- can you think of one instance in which what you ended up with is better than what you are seeking?
Kirby: Well I think remember the -- on the arms embargo and the -- and the missile, missile program sanctions, under the U.N. Security Council resolutions which put those sanctions in place and drove Iran to the negotiating table, it was always understood that -- that all of those sanctions would be lifted at once when Iran complied with their requirements under Lausanne.
We held out for more. I mean, interesting that some of the criticism on this deal is well, some -- you know, the arms embargo goes out to five and then is lifted and then the missiles, out to eight and then gets lifted. That was actually extra measures put in place by the negotiators at the table, certainly led by Secretary Kerry, because at least two members of the P5-plus-1 wanted the -- the intent of the resolutions to be met in word which was immediate.
Kirby:... which was immediately.
Lee: But it was never the position of the administration that the arms embargo and the ballistic missile sanctions should remain regardless of whether there was a deal? I mean...
Kirby: Well that -- that wasn't -- the -- our sanctions will remain in place.
Lee: No, but at the U.N..
Kirby: But the U.N. -- but the U.N. Security Council resolutions, which put those sanctions on did so with the intent of driving Iran to the negotiating table, specifically over their nuclear program.
Kirby: So it was always understood by all the members of the P5- plus-1 members, that as a part of -- to have a deal, without the sanctions relief, all of them, there would be no deal.
Lee: But the problem that exists there is that those U.N. Security Council resolutions to which you refer, which have now been superseded by yesterday's, didn't -- are stronger. They call for Iran to suspend or halt enrichment altogether. So, when you say that well, Russia and China wanted the arms embargo and ballistic missile stuff to go immediately, they wouldn't have gone immediately, because Iran wasn't in compliance with the -- with the terms of the previous resolutions.
Kirby: They wouldn't go immediately until they had met their requirements with their nuclear program.
Lee: Right. You're casting this as -- as you -- it's a U.S. victory, or something that exceeds your expectations that you've kept the arms embargo in place for five years, when in fact I believe the administration wanted it in place forever, but maybe I'm wrong on that, and the ballistic missile sanction -- and ballistic missile stuff, for eight years. So while you might be able to make the argument in your own -- the administration might be able to make the argument that you got five and eight as opposed to zero, why does it not make sense for critics to look at this and say well, it went from forever or keeping them in place indefinitely to a set time period, which could even be shorter?
Kirby: Because the only way they stay in effect indefinitely is if Iran never comes to the negotiating table and we never get a deal.
Lee: Yeah, but the...
Kirby: The whole reason they were put in place was to drive them to a place where they would negotiate for the relief.
Lee: I get that but the previous Security Council Resolutions called for Iran not to have any enrichment at all, and now you’re allowing them enrichment, and yet you’re giving them this arms embargo and ballistic missile. Anyway, I’ll…
Kirby: Well Matt that’s part of the negotiations
Lee: I’ll - Ok. But you say that those are two things that you exceeded your expectations
Kirby: I’m saying that’s better, just one example and if you need more I’m happy to provide that for you.