Thursday, June 15, 2017

Obama Administration Rejected Arab Pleas to Bomb Iran, Kerry Reveals

the algemeiner

Former Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the 2017 Oslo Forum

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry revealed at a public forum in Norway this week that the Obama administration resisted Arab entreaties to “bomb” Iran and instead pursued negotiations to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Oslo Forum, which brings together leading foreign policy officials from around the world, Kerry claimed that before negotiations with the Iranian regime began, “We were hurtling toward conflict.”

“I mean, there’s just no other way to describe it,” he added.

“Leaders in the region were saying to me personally, and to the president, President Obama, ‘You should bomb these guys — that’s the only way to resolve this issue,’” Kerry continued.

But, he said, “we chose a different path.”

“What we did is to find a mutually acceptable way to guarantee that both sides were able to agree on a path forward that met both sides’ needs,” Kerry — who negotiated the July 2015 six-power nuclear deal with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other Iranians officials — told an audience that included EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, as well as Zarif himself.

Saeed Ghasseminejad — an Iran fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) think tank — told The Algemeiner on Thursday that Kerry was correct in depicting the deal as beneficial to the Islamic Republic.

“The deal meets Iran’s needs to have a pathway toward making a nuclear bomb in future, when the ‘sunset clauses’ kick in,” Ghasseminejad said. The deal set expiration dates — or “sunset clauses” — on the limits imposed on Iran’s nuclear program.

Ghasseminejad added, “The deal Mr. Kerry signed without congressional support does not meet the needs of the US and its allies in the region to put an end to the nuclear program of a rogue government.”

Iran, he went on to say, “is the most dangerous state sponsor of terror in the world, is involved in religious cleansing and crimes against humanity in Syria, and continuously calls for annihilation of Israel.”

Since leaving office, Kerry has become something of a hate figure in much of the Arab press. In its report of Kerry’s reunion with Zarif in Oslo, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya reproduced a tweet from Donald Trump Jr., the son of the current US president, charging that the former secretary of state was “still fighting for Iran.”