At an awards ceremony in London on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that there are clear guidelines set by the Obama administration to protect banks doing business with Iran from American sanctions, even if the money they pour into Iran ends up in the accounts of entities that are still being sanctioned. According to The Weekly Standard, citing Republicans in Congress, that statement is disturbingly misleading, and reflects a fight that’s going on inside the Obama Administration.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) told the Standard that Kerry “appears to be more concerned with acting as Iran’s de facto trade representative than criticizing the regime for taking hostages, not coming clean on Bob Levinson’s case, and supporting terrorists attacking the United States.”
The senator warned US companies about the financial risks involved in doing business with Iran, especially the Revolutionary Guard, whose “tentacles are pervasive throughout the Iranian economy.”
“That’s the opposite of what Treasury Undersecretary [Adam] Szubin said a few weeks ago,” writes Omri Ceren, who notes that Szubin, discussing the same guidelines Kerry was alluding to, said there is “an enhanced level of due diligence” regarding doing business with Iran, asserting that the US would continue to impose “the most draconian sanctions in our toolkit” on firms that get caught working with the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (IRGC).
According to the Washington Free Beacon, tensions have been brewing between State and the Treasury over the Administration efforts to boost Iran’s economy with unprecedented access to US money: should US banks be held accountable if by following Kerry’s urgings they stumble over Szubin’s harsh restrictions. Can the US President allow this kind of yawning gap between the positions of two of his top departments?
The rest of this story is dedicated to the Kerry haters in the crowd… At the Chatham House Prize ceremony in London on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry praised his award co-recipient, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (who didn’t show up), saying: “I want to make it clear that Javad is a very tough, very capable negotiator, a patriot all the time, who fought hard for his nation’s interests, while always trying to find a constructive way to solve the problems that we both understood were gigantic hurdles for both of our countries, for both of our people, for our politics, and the divisions that exist at home for each of us.”
Yes, one man’s heartfelt praise is another man’s clear example of Stockholm Syndrome, especially in light of Kerry’s praise for supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at that same awards event: “I think ultimately to the credit of the ayatollah and Iran, they made a fundamental decision they were willing to submit to the scrutiny and give up that [nuclear] program.”
Give up the program? More like suspend some of it for about four years, according to mainstream media reports.
And while praising those two promoters of global and regional terrorism, Kerry took a last-chance swipe at Prime Minister Netanyahu, for his failed opposition to the nuclear deal. “There were powerful forces,” Kerry said, “that were deeply opposed to this. I mean, it’s not often that a prime minister of another country comes to the Congress, and in the middle of the Congress speaks against the sitting president’s policy. That happened, and you can imagine the forces that were unleashed as a result, and the tension that existed.”
To sum up: In John Kerry’s feverish mind, Iran’s murderous leaders are the good guys, deserving of lavish investments from US banks, even if some of the money goes to Iranian groups that scheme to annihilate the country led by Netanyahu, the bad guy.
Can’t wait for Friday, January 20, when this bad dream officially ends.