According to Iranian-based media, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif appeared on a panel today at Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations where he spoke about the nuclear agreement he negotiated with the P5+1 last month in Vienna. Zarif explained that the so-called snap-back sanctions mechanism was less effective than the Obama administration claims. “Our snap-back is easier than theirs,” is how one Iranian journalist tweeted Zarif’s talk, “because we can resume our work with nuts and bolts, but they should convince countries to resume sanctions.” Also, said Zarif, “doing business with foreigners is a guarantee to make them unable to use snap-back mechanism.”
Zarif says he’s confident that Iran won’t violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but notes that “we should take care of plots like Karine A.” Here Zarif is referring to the 2002 incident when Israel stopped a ship, the Karine A, loaded with Iranian weapons destined for Yasser Arafat. Apparently, the man with whom John Kerry just negotiated a nuclear deal believes that the Karine A was a set-up to make the Iranians look bad. Israel did it. It gets Zarif so angry that he mentioned it at least twice. “I’ll never forget how the Israelis brought us to the Axis of Evil by Karine A false-flag scenario,” said Zarif. “Now they are working to derail the Iran deal.” Zarif is warning that maybe Israel will try to frame Iran again—maybe by building a secret nuclear facility under an Iranian mountain, or something equally devious.
The point is that the Obama White House has tied American interests to a regime led by paranoid, anti-Semitic obscurantists. Of course Iran will never come clean about the possible military dimensions of the nuclear program. Zarif won’t even admit that Iran was responsible for the Karine A.
The terrible shame is that America’s top diplomat is starting to sound like his counterpart from the Islamic Republic. Both see the handiwork of Israel everywhere they turn. Like Zarif, Kerry is preemptively blaming Israel should the JCPOA fail. If the deal doesn’t fly past Congress, as Kerry said last week, Israel will be to blame.
By ignoring the vicious anti-Semitic rants of a criminal regime in order to make a worthless nuclear agreement with it, it was inevitable that the White House would come to sound more and more like its negotiating partner.