President Obama and his subordinates blatantly lied to Congress in order win approval – or, more accurately, to escape disapproval – of his Iran nuclear deal. At a time when jihadist mass-murder attacks are surging, and when the Syrian regime’s war crimes are abetted by Iran’s jihadist armed forces (which include Hezbollah and the Quds Force, both formally designated terrorist organizations), Obama’s deal infuses Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and an unapologetic enemy of the United States, with over $100 billion in sanctions relief . . . some slice of which, the Obama administration admits, will be diverted to terrorism.
This is old news, of course. Yet, it is worth repeating, for two reasons.
First, these are impeachable offenses of the first order. As I recounted in Faithless Execution, the Framers of our Constitution counted presidential dishonesty in dealings with Congress and presidential concealment of dealings with foreign powers as among the most egregious high crimes and misdemeanors.
Second, Obama is doing it again.
To persuade the Republican-controlled Congress to refrain from rejecting the Iran deal, even under the shamefully indulgent Corker-Cardin process to which GOP leaders agreed, the Obama administration made two key promises. The first was that, if Congress went along with Obama on dismantling nuclear sanctions (for the purportedly greater good of winning the terror regime’s commitment not to build nuclear weapons), the administration would stand strong on other sanctions – sanctions that punish Iran for its terror promotion, ballistic-missile development, and related aggression. The second promise was that Iran would continue to be banned from the U.S. financial system.
The latter is a critical restraint on the mullahs. Because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency, the inability to transact in dollars is a significant impediment to commerce – and thus a fitting punitive measure against a rogue nation that bankrolls jihadists. Moreover, because Iran’s economy is dominated by a terrorist entity (the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps), a key component of which is the Quds Force (again, formally designated as a terrorist organization), insulating our financial system from Iran’s prevents our banks and commercial actors from supporting Iranian terrorism (after all, Obama is already doing quite enough of that).
Now, having gotten his deal past Congress, Obama is reneging on both commitments.
Between Obama’s bizarre desperation to strike a deal with our enemies and Secretary of State John Kerry’s incompetent statecraft, the administration’s treachery was inevitable. Although Congress was promised that the administration would snap sanctions back into place if Iran violated the nuclear agreement, the text of the deal notes Iran’s position that “if sanctions are reinstated in whole or part,” that creates “grounds [for Iran] to cease performing commitments” under the deal.
Thus, every time the administration even hints at serious enforcement, Iran threatens to walk away from its obligations (now that it has already pocketed substantial benefits). And since Iran has seen that its intransigence works, it now wins concessions by threatening to abandon the deal in the face of any American policy of which it disapproves. For example, when Congress reacted to December’s jihadist attacks in Paris by enacting restrictions on travel to the United States from countries that are terrorist hot spots, Tehran claimed that applying the restrictions to Iran would violate the deal. Naturally, Obama caved: claiming that it was somehow in the “national security interests of the United States” to waive the anti-terror restrictions for those who travel through the world’s worst terror-sponsoring nation.
This is how Iran eviscerated the non-nuclear sanctions Obama vowed to uphold. It bleated that, to obtain Iran’s agreement, Obama and Kerry had promised to lift sanctions that target various sectors of Iran’s economy. But, as analyst Omri Ceren points out, many of those sanctions do not target Iran’s nuclear program – they relate to terrorism, ballistic missiles, money laundering, etc.
The radically changed circumstances Obama is trying to forge will happen only if individuals, businesses, financial institutions, and foreign actors believe that Obama’s lawlessness authorizes them to be lawless. If they are made to understand that it does not – that the sanctions are still in force and the next president fully intends to enforce them – then the players will refrain from actions that expose them to legal jeopardy. The status quo, though frayed, can be maintained.
And then Iran that can start worrying about radical change come January 2017.
Full article: Obama Gives Iran Access to the U.S. Financial System, Flouting the Terms of His Cherished Iran Deal (Family Security Matters)