by Majid Rafizadeh
I have long pointed out that Barack Obama’s administration, and particularly president Obama himself, has been more than likely clandestinely communicating and working with the Islamic Republic of Iran much longer than just before the current nuclear talks, and even long before President Hassan Rouhani came to the United States to attend the UN General Assembly. Several national and international outlets have just released more details and reports on this issue.
The crucial point of this issue is that while the American people were told by the Obama administration (an image projected by President Obama) that this September’s “historic” telephone call between President Obama and President Rouhani was the first diplomatic outreach to achieve agreement on nuclear issues, the recent revelations indicate otherwise.
These secrets talks, surreptitious letters, leading to confidential and classified negotiations between Obama and the Islamist leaders of Iran, were initiated long before the current nuclear talks, right after the current president of Iran was elected to office.
According to several outlets, including the Daily Beast, the Blaze, and the Washington Times, the White House— under the leadership of President Obama— started lifting and easing its sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran right after President Hassan Rouhani took office.
According to The Daily Beast, Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a group that works closely with Congress and the White House regarding Iranian matters, stated that for “five months, since Rouhani’s election, the United States has offered Iran two major forms of sanctions relief.” In addition, Dubowitz pointed out that Iran has been selling oil illegally on the black market, leading to a large profitable amount of illegal revenues for Iran.
This also explains why President Obama has tried to oppose any sort of sanctions, policy recommendations, and legislation presented by the overwhelming majority of congressional representatives.
While it took several American administrations, the international community, the United Nations, and European countries to identify illicit institutions and actors in Iran who have abused the international financial sector, the Obama administration is quietly reversing these processes.
The Obama administration’s policy of quietly lessening financial pressure on Iran has significantly emboldened the position of Iranian Islamists in the international arena.
According to Dubowitz, two types of relief and special offers have been given to Iran by the Obama administration.
Firstly, the Obama administration has significantly decreased issuing designations of sanctions violators in comparison to any previous administrations. This is occurring at a time when Iran has been more rapidly working on its nuclear program and increasing its centrifuges, according to the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran has also increased the number of engineers working at a new plutonium plant, and according to many nuclear experts, Iran will reach the breakaway capacity of developing bomb-grade nuclear weapons within the first six months of next year.
Secondly, and more importantly, the Obama administration has been offering Iran special deals by opposing sanction recommendations coming from both parties in Congress. In addition, Iranian lawmakers have previously pointed out that President Obama has previously sent secret letters to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. While the Obama administration denies that they sent a secret letter to Khamenei, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed that Tehran did receive the secret letter to the Supreme Leader. Furthermore, as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, pointed out, US Secretary of State John Kerry is currently pushing for an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, which will ease sanction on Iran without even asking Tehran to slow down its nuclear activities.
The secrecy of the Obama administration’s work with the Islamist leaders of Iran is brining, and will continue to bring, further severe repercussions for American national interest, which will just intensify as these clandestine communications networks continue to occur. Some of the negative backlash to this event is aimed at how the Obama administration is alienating its regional allies, particular Israel, through these acts. By these secret reliefs, the Obama administration is significantly assisting Iran in more quickly obtaining bomb-grade nuclear capabilities and weapons. The Obama administration is also breaking the number one rule in foreign service, in which United States prohibits its diplomat from contacting Iranian counterparts. Finally, and more fundamentally, this move has worked to embolden the Islamists’ position, weakening and damaging the American image.
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