- The Washington Times
Friday, January 10, 2020


John Kerry, former Democratic senator, presidential aspirant and U.S. State Department secretary under Barack Obama, is a heavy pot smoker.

He’d have to be to say this: Until President Donald Trump came along, the Iran nuclear deal “was working.”

OK, lawyers, cool the jets. Kerry is not a pot smoker — at least, to borrow from the legal world’s own lingo, it can neither be confirmed nor denied at this time that Kerry is a pot smoker.

But to say the nuke deal, the overly wordy Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA of 2015, yada yada, blah blah, is “working” is simply the height of delusion. Unless, of course, by “working,” one means for Iran.

Here’s Kerry’s view, as written in The New York Times: “President Trump says that on his watch, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. But if he had wanted to keep that promise, he should have left the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in place. Instead, he pulled the United States out of the deal and pursued a reckless foreign policy that has put us on the path to armed conflict with Iran. … Though Mr. Trump has since walked back from the brink of war, I can’t explain the chaos of his presidency. … This moment was nothing if not foreseeable the moment Mr. Trump abandoned the 2015 agreement, which was working.”

Notice even Kerry doesn’t call the nuke deal by its regrettably forgettable overly highbrow formal name. He probably forgets what it’s called, too. But the bigger question mark is this: How can anyone this side of sane see the Iran nuclear agreement as a benefit to America, a safety latch for Israel, a peace-making measure for the Middle East?

The deal had an expiration date for prohibitions on Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons’ development.

The deal didn’t really limit Iran’s ability to build out its ballistic-missile program, the means by which nuclear weapons can be delivered.

The deal didn’t let in U.N. inspectors to look at Iran’s military properties and ensure compliance with the No Nuclear Weapons Development portion of the program, sunset provisioned as it was — which means the West, the world, Israel would have to rely solely on Tehran’s good name and reputation for honesty, gag, as proof of the regime’s wholly peaceful intents. Gag. Gag.

And then there was the cash. Or, the nuke deal payoff-slash-ransom-payment-slash-quick-call-it-something-other-than-cash that slid from America’s taxpayers into Iranian regime hands.

From CNN in August of 2016: “The Obama administration secretly arranged a plane delivery of $400 million in cash on the same day Iran released four American prisoners and formally implemented the nuclear deal, U.S. officials confirmed. … President Barack Obama approved the $400 million transfer, which he had announced in January as part of the Iran nuclear deal. The money was flown into Iran on wooden pallets stacked with Swiss francs, euros and other currencies as the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement resolving claims at an international tribunal at The Hague over a failed arms deal under the time of the Shah.”

After that, the Obama administration made two additional payments totaling $1.3 billion” to Iran, to “resolve a failed arms deal,” CNN reported in September, 2016.

Yet PolitiFact insists: “The 2015 Iran nuclear deal … did not involve the United States giving cash to Iran.” Hmm. PolitiFact also says that the idea of U.S. payments to Iran, post-nuke deal — or transfers, gifts, give-aways, allotments, disbursements or whatever the word of the day calls it — in the reported range of $150 billion is flat-out wrong.

What we have here is a failure to communicate. 

And that highlights yet another problem with this supposedly “working” nuke deal: It’s so dang slippery. It’s a deal that was announced with fanfare by political elites and their friends in the media — who then worked in cohesion to cover and conceal the pesky details of the deal that outright caved to terror-loving Iran.

Next thing you know, Kerry will be denying Iran’s even a terror-loving regime.

Oh wait.

“We were working with allies to deepen sanctions on Iran for its involvement in Yemen, its transfer of weapons to Hezbollah and its actions in Syria, its human rights violations, its threats against Israel and its ballistic missile program,” Kerry wrote.

Human rights violations? He means terrorism.

It’s a good thing for America and American allies when Kerry opposes foreign policy. It means the foreign policy is working.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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