The recent revelations surrounding John Kerry’s covert dialogues with the Iranians during the Trump administration, if true, are troubling.
The Obama administration joined the disastrous Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), of which Kerry was an architect, against the wishes of the American people and without the ratification of the Senate. The Trump administration rightly left that flawed deal, ceased sending the money to Iran, which had directly helped fuel its murder and mayhem throughout the region, and introduced crippling sanctions that wiped out 96% of Iran’s foreign reserves in just two years.
Our Maximum Pressure Campaign worked – less money fueling Iran’s proxies, less violence and terror, and more problems for the Iranian regime without war.
Iran must never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon because it is a danger to Israel, the Middle East, the United States and the rest of the world. The flawed JCPOA put them on that path and our Maximum Pressure Campaign took them off it.
Kerry could have celebrated the fact that the bank accounts of the leading state sponsor of terror in the region were being drained completely, and that historic peace accords were being signed between Israel and her neighbors. Instead, Kerry covertly worked to undermine the Trump administration’s efforts by meeting with top Iranian leaders during our tenure, encouraging them to “wait” until the next election, when presumably the same Obama administration officials they struck a deal with in 2016 would be back in power, and now we learn perhaps worse, providing valuable intelligence to the Iranians concerning our ally, Israel.
It is quite possible that while I was briefing President Trump about Iranian operations in Syria, Kerry was briefing Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other top Iranian officials about Israeli operations there.
The same people who presided over those failed policies are back in charge now, and they seem wholly committed to repeating their past mistakes.
John Kerry owes the American people an explanation of what exactly he discussed with the Iranians. The legacy of the Obama administration’s Middle East policies is failure. The same people who presided over those failed policies (Kerry, Wendy Sherman, Robert Malley and Jake Sullivan) are back in charge now, and they seem wholly committed to repeating their past mistakes.
Their goal is not to ensure of the safety of the American people, but to continue down the path of Iranian appeasement either because they simply want to reverse every tenet of President Trump’s foreign policy or cannot admit that the JCPOA is a fatally flawed agreement.
John Kerry also used these backdoor channels to undermine our closest ally in the region, Israel (which was perhaps the most consistent policy objective of the Obama administration) by discussing Israeli military operations in Syria with those same Iranian officials. Kerry owes the American people an explanation here as well, to explain why he would discuss the military operations of an American ally with one of our stated adversaries and a state sponsor of terrorism.
These activities of John Kerry are characteristic of the Obama and Biden administrations – their contempt for the views of ordinary Americans, and their disregard for the constitutional limits on their authority all combine to work against the wishes of the American people and undermine our national security, as well as the security of our allies.
Kerry said there would “never, ever” be peace between Israel and the broader Middle East until a comprehensive Israel-Palestinian deal was reached. The Trump administration proved that wrong with the Abraham Accords.
Kerry and other Obama-era officials all warned that the Trump administration’s superb strike on Qasem Soleimani would lead to war with Iran. They called us reckless and stupid. But war did not come – instead, we wiped from existence one of the most dangerous terrorists in the Middle East, saving the lives of Americans and our allies, and continued to squeeze Iran to its breaking point without war.
Perhaps if John Kerry had not been consulting with the Iranians, the Trump administration could have reached a comprehensive peace agreement with the Iranian people as well. Instead, it seems that Biden administration will be pursuing a deal on Iran’s terms. The losers will be the American people and our allies.
Author: Michael R. Pompeo