Two former secretaries of State have co-authored a thoroughly reasoned and blistering condemnation of the Obama administration and the rest of the P5+1 agreement with Iran, but the government totally rejected their comments.
Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, both of whom were as far as possible from being considered pro-Israel, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Obama’s approach to Iran that can lead the Islamic Republic to the capability of easily ditching the deal, procuring a nuclear weapon and leaving the United States holding an empty bag.
They stated that Obama’s approach is full of holes that risk an even more volatile Middle East, and wrote:
For Iran to be a valuable member of the international community, the prerequisite is that it accepts restraint on its ability to destabilize the Middle East and challenge the broader international order.
State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf, as seen and heard in the video below, dismissed Kissinger and Schultz’s article as nothing more than “big words and big thoughts.”
She pointed that they did present an alternative while ignoring one that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has constantly suggested – a better deal.
President Barack Obama’s defense has been that his deal is the best possible, and therefore he is trying to sell it as if it is a “good deal.”
The two former secretaries of State’s rejection of his policy is a severe blow to his defense, even if they did serve in Republican administrations. The Senate reportedly is only two votes short of a veto-proof majority to pass a bill demanding that the proposed deal be subjected to Congressional review.
Kissinger and Schultz wrote, “For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests—and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability, albeit short of its full capacity in the first 10 years….Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.”
Their criticism of the arrangement with Iran focused on problems of verification, enforcing the conditions, re-establishing sanctions, and the failure of Obama’s policy to link political restraint with nuclear restraint, setting the stage for Iran to fulfill Israel and Sunni-ruled powers such as Saudi Arabia that Tehran will destabilize the entire region in an effort to control it.
Unless political restraint is linked to nuclear restraint, an agreement freeing Iran from sanctions risks empowering Iran’s hegemonic efforts… [Iran must accept] restraints on its ability to destabilize the Middle East.
Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.
Harf’s unconvincing response was:
I didn’t hear a lot of alternatives. [I] heard a lot of, sort of, big words and big thoughts in that piece.”
In a perfect world, of course we would have an agreement that would do all of these things. But we are living in the real world, and that’s the responsibility of the secretary to negotiate where we can see if we can get this one issue dealt with….
We have always said that once you start linking the nuclear issue, which is complicated enough on its own, with all these other issues, it’s really hard to get anything done.
That is why the Obama administration has dismissed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran signal that it does not want to destroy Isle simply be recognizing the country. The president said that is a lousy idea because it is not practical, meaning it would make a deal impossible. The “deal” has become the ends and not the means, and that is why Harf, Obama, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and all of the other administration sages look like used-car salesmen.