Follow by Email

Monday, July 20, 2015

Iran to Continue Arming Assad and Hezbollah: Kerry and Rice Misinform the American Public

On July 17, 2015, John Kerry and Judy Woodruff had the following interchange on PBS Newshour concerning Obama's nuclear deal with Iran (my emphasis in red):

JUDY WOODRUFF: You have emphasized that this was just a deal about Iran’s nuclear program. It wasn’t intended to get at anything else.

And yet, as you know, there is concern that Iran will take some of that money that they’re going to get from the frozen assets that are now being unfrozen, that they will use it on — some of it to create mischief, more mischief in the area, give some of it to Hezbollah, some of it to the Shiite militias in Yemen and so forth.


JUDY WOODRUFF: What is the U.S. prepared to do about that? How do you see that playing out?

JOHN KERRY: Well, we’re going to clamp down. They’re not allowed to do that.

They’re not allowed to do that, outside even of this agreement. There is a U.N. resolution that specifically applies to them not being allowed to transfer to Hezbollah. They are specifically not allowed under another U.N. resolution to transfer to the Shia militia in Iraq. They are specifically not allowed to transfer to the Houthis.

And I will be meeting with all of the Gulf states in about two weeks in Doha, and we are laying down — and Secretary Carter is meeting with them in Riyadh next week. We are laying down the steps we will take to work with our friends and allies in the region to push back against this behavior.

So, according to Kerry, Iran cannot transfer money to Hezbollah or to Houthi rebels. However, on July 15, 2015, Susan Rice gave CNN's Wolf Blitzer a completely different answer:

WOLF BLITZER: I just want to be precise. Once the money starts flowing in, it's their money, correctly - as I pointed out, as you pointed out - it's their money. They can do with it whatever they want. If they want to give a billion dollars of weapons to Bashar al-Assad or a billion dollars to Houthi rebels in Yemen . . .

SUSAN RICE: No, they can’t do that, Wolf, because they’ll still be under an arms embargo that would prevent them from sending weapons anywhere.

WOLF BLITZER: So what if they're not sending weapons, what if they're just sending money?

SUSAN RICE: Well, they may be able to send money. Yes.

Well, neither Kerry nor Rice are telling us how Iran understands it obligations under the deal. As reported by Iran's Fars News Agency:

"Renowned political analyst Dr. Mohammad Marandi said that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told him in Vienna last week that Iran would continue to supply arms to the regional nations even under a final nuclear deal.

'When we were in Vienna, the Arab reporters asked me if Iran would continue arms aids to its regional allies under the final deal, and when I asked Mr. Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, the question, he told me that Iran would continue the arms supply policy,' Marandi, a Tehran University Professor, said during a live interview with the English-language channel, press tv, on Monday night.

'Mr. Zarif told me that Iran would continue its arms aid to the regional nations and he told me that it would be in violation of the UN Security Council resolution (that was adopted earlier today), but it would not be in opposition to the agreement (also known as the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action),' he reiterated adding that Zarif had not asked him to remain unnamed when reflecting the answer to the reporters."

Care to comment, John and Susan?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post JG.

    Kerry would not be puzzled if Iran was solely continuing to ship missiles to Hezbollah and delivery of S-300s from Russia.
    Perhaps Kerry is now preoccupied by the thought his new bff, Zarif, will soon be asking for political asylum?, based on news today:

    "...U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear program was "very troubling".

    "I don't know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that's his policy," he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.

    "But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it's very disturbing, it's very troubling," he added.


    Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister who developed a warm rapport with Kerry during weeks of unprecedented face-to-face talks, defended the deal in Iran's hardliner-dominated parliament. ..."

    Bret Stephens' summary today:
    "...And so, as negotiations proceeded, they had to choose between acknowledging that their own ends and means were incompatible with reality, changing either their ends or their means, or pretending. They chose to pretend.

    This is not how statesmen worthy of their positions behave. It is how people in all walks of life act when they are small and slippery."

    [in other news, seems China really wants that Pakistan to Iran pipeline to get finished]