Former Obama Officials Helping Iran To Outmaneuver The United States

Former Obama Officials Helping Iran To Outmaneuver The United States

A small cadre of former Obama administration officials have been counseling Iranian Government officials since 2016 on how to deal with the Trump administration, according to the Daily Beast, which notes that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zerif has been involved in the ongoing discussions.

The message? “Don’t take Trump’s bait. Stay calm.”

Conversations between former Obama officials and Iranian government officials have been ongoing since November 2016. Zarif, who visits the U.S. every year for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, usually meets with lawmakers, think tanks, journalists, and former officials when he is in town.

But the recent round of conversations, which took place over the phone and in person over the last two months, came as lines of communication between the U.S. and Iran, through intermediaries in Europe and elsewhere, deteriorated. –Daily Beast

“It’s not just about what they were saying to the Iranians,” an aide told the Beast. “It’s about what they were saying to their political allies back here in the U.S. Their strategy was to divide and isolate the Trump administration just as the Trump administration was trying to re-establish deterrence with Iran. In the current highly partisan political environment, the only safe course is to signal national unity—and they contributed to eroding that at home and abroad.”

In September, former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted to meeting with Zarif “three or four times” since Donald Trump took office, a move which drew condemnation from conservatives who said Kerry was “coaching” the Iranian FM on how to deal with the White House.

In response, some Republican lawmakers levied charges that Kerry is engaged in rogue diplomacy and is undermining the active, elected administration.

Kerry defended the meetings, saying: “What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better.”

Tensions between the US and Iran have increased recently, after Iran warned that it would increase its stockpile of nuclear-related materials – though the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a quarterly report seen on Friday by the Wall Street Journal that Tehran remains in compliance with its main commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement. On May 8, the one-year anniversary of President Trump pulling out of the nuclear deal, Iran said that it would begin to scale up its nuclear program, and would disregard limits on its stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water.

Iran has rebuffed Trump’s calls to come back to the negotiating table for a new, stricter nuclear accord – and has slammed US sanctions which have sent the Iranian economy into a deep recession.

And now we learn that former Obama administration officials have been advising Iran this whole time.

Three Obama officials who worked closely on the Iran nuclear deal, one of whom is still in touch with Iranian government officials, traveled to Capitol Hill to brief congressional Democrats about the situation. Those former officials said would not say if they passed information from Iranian government officials to members of Congress. Rather, they said they focused on educating members about their experience working with Iranian leaders and how Tehran reacts to economic pressure.

Several former officials who spoke to The Daily Beast stressed that their discussions with their Iranian contacts were “normal.” But in other corners, these kind of talks cause alarm. A Republican congressional aide who works on Iran policy told The Daily Beast the conversations may run counter to the Trump administration’s messaging to the Iranian government. –Daily Beast

Former Obama administration officials gave wrong-headed advice to the regime in Iran that U.S. sanctions couldn’t work without European support and that the regime should just wait out the Trump administration,” according to Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the DC-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which has advised the Trump administration on Iran policy. “Now with U.S. sanctions biting and the Islamic Republic facing an economic crisis, they’d be wise to tell their Iranian counterparts to return to negotiations. Bipartisan support for efforts to block the Islamic Republic’s malign activities strengthens American security.”

Others have defended, or at least downplayed the discussions.

“The communications are not surprising because of the lack of direct contact between the U.S. and Iran. The urgency is greater now. There is a sense of, let’s make sure that there is some channel open,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the Rand Corporation. “But it’s not clear that they are talking to Iranians that are making the ultimate decisions in the country. It’s not clear that those talking to each other, those in the room, are representing the realities on the ground in their respective countries.”

 

One former official who worked on the Obama administration’s Iran policy told The Daily Beast he spoke with Iranian government officials as recently as a few weeks ago, as tensions were cresting. His message, he said, was simple: The Trump administration can escalate things plenty all by itself; the Iranians shouldn’t take the bait, fuel the fire, and move things from bad to worse by, for example, pulling completely out of the nuclear deal.

Another former senior Obama administration official, who said he was not himself aware of the conversations, called the talks “neither unusual nor particularly consequential.”

“Exaggerating their significance lends undue credence to those cynically blaming others for their own failing approach,” the ex-official said.

 

Separately, some former Obama officials are trying to keep the roots of the Iran nuclear deal alive by taking the pulse of lawmakers on Capitol Hill to gauge whether they are in favor of restarting talks in the future. They are also speaking to officials in Europe who are concerned about their long-term ability to trade with Iran and stick to the terms of the Iran nuclear deal, all while attempting to avoid U.S. sanctions. Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)—formerly the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee—had dinner with Zarif “a few weeks ago,” according to a Politico report published May 23. –Daily Beast

 

Will the 1799 Logan Act be invoked, which made unauthorized diplomacy with foreign powers by a private citizen illegal?

 

 

via zerohedge

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92 Comments

  • John Siemens
    June 2, 2019, 12:13 pm

    TREASON!!!!!

    REPLY
    • JIM@John Siemens
      June 2, 2019, 12:29 pm

      That.s like the stupid leading the stupider.

      REPLY
    • john@John Siemens
      June 2, 2019, 2:00 pm

      Treason…. HANG THE BASTARDS

      REPLY
    • The Patriot Widow@John Siemens
      June 2, 2019, 2:41 pm

      Treason is an understatement. Obama has ALWAYS been a plant to destroy America both internally and externally. He will go down in history as not only the worst president but as the one who destroyed democracy and freedom. This was his plan from day one but he was not smart enough to come up with it on his own. No, he was coached by those people who paid his college education, Saudi Arabia. Time will tell the true story meanwhile Americans will pay the price for this treasonous act by John Kerry.

      CWII coming to a town near us all.

      REPLY
      • von Potter@The Patriot Widow
        June 2, 2019, 3:17 pm

        Obama only hired muslims to work in the WH as his employees……You can bet that the funding came from bozo and soros………..

        REPLY
    • old blue@John Siemens
      June 2, 2019, 2:56 pm

      There was no good reason for Trump to take us out of that deal, which has worked to PREVENT Iran rorm developing nuclear weapons. Sounds like these people are trying to de-fuse tensions and keep communications channels open, Good for them!

      REPLY
      • von Potter@old blue
        June 2, 2019, 3:21 pm

        I think that Iran should receive the same treatment as hiroshima and nagasaki…..We can only hope that BOZO & SOROS are visiting there at the same time.

        REPLY
      • steve smith@old blue
        June 2, 2019, 4:32 pm

        OLD BLUE-STUPID RUNS RAMPANT IN YOUR BLOOD LINES -IN THAT IRAN DEAL–THE IRANIANS ONLY SHOWED THE INSPECTORS THE NUCLEAR ELECTRIC GENERATORS AND NEVER SHOWEDTHEM THE MILES OF PLUTONIUM PRODUCING PLANTS -SO YES TO THE WORLD IT SEEMED THAT THEY WERE HONORING THE TREATY -MEANWHILE THEY LIED
        AND THEY WERE STILL PRODUCING NUKES -THAT IS A GREAT REASON TO TAKE US OUT OF THAT DEAL–PLUS OBAMA THE ABYSMAL GAVE IRAN BACK ALL OF IT’S SANCTIONED MONEY SO THEY COULD BUY A GREAT PORTION OF THE URANIUM FROM RUSSIA-FROM THE URANIUM 1 DEAL–WHAT DOES RUSSIA NEED WITH A SHIT LOAD OF URANIUM–THEY HAVE ENOUGH NUKES TO LEVEL THE EARTH TWICE OVER-
        BUT THEY NOW HAVE ENOUGH TO SUPPLY THEIR ALLIES–OUR ENEMIES-

        REPLY
      • John Dendy@old blue
        June 2, 2019, 5:06 pm

        You are an ignorant fool

        REPLY
      • Marilyn Z@old blue
        June 2, 2019, 6:54 pm

        I lived in Iran for over four years and have MANY Iranian friends living here and abroad and they tell me that the government of Iran was continuing to develop nuclear weapons. There is a plant on the Zayandeh Rud that runs thru Isfahan and is due west of where we lived and most of the time they stop all water flow into that large river for their cooling towers. One thing one friend told me recently who had just returned from Iran was that the Iranian government has a *fog* at times around that facility so people can’t see what they are actually doing, esp. the satellites. My husband who follows such things thinks that is pretty far out there, but I would think the people know what they are seeing. Go to Google Earth, find Isfahan and go west and behind a small *mountain* you will see that plant on the Zayandeh Rud

        REPLY
      • Jerry@old blue
        June 3, 2019, 12:07 am

        Just curious but if the shoe was on the other foot and former bush administration employees were doing this what your take on it would be? It seems like an awful lot of folks think that the running of the country is a damned TV show and regardless of whats going on it won’t affect them. Continue to let your hate blind you at your own peril as well as all you know. If you continue to bury your head don’t be surprised when your ass is on fire!

        REPLY
      • Richard@old blue
        June 3, 2019, 4:47 am

        Really? LOL

        REPLY
      • David Rose@old blue
        June 3, 2019, 7:16 am

        So I guess ex president Bush really messed up when he didn’t tell Iran to wait out Obozo when he was dousche bag in chief. Your ignorance proves my point.
        Voters should be required to possess two brain cells before the vote counts. Liberals could combine their brain cells to get to the needed two. This would take approximately 38 liberals,

        REPLY
      • Chuck Lynch@old blue
        June 3, 2019, 11:36 am

        That is exactly what you read in the MSM!

        REPLY
      • Steveur@old blue
        June 3, 2019, 10:36 pm

        old blue, You live in your sopor state?

        REPLY
    • TOMMIE CLARK@John Siemens
      June 2, 2019, 6:02 pm

      WHY ARE WE ALLOWING THIS IT IS TREASON LOCK THEM UP HERE LIES PART OF OUR PROBLEMS MR PRESIDENT PUT THEM IN JAIL KERRY FIRST HE ISN’T PRESIDENT

      REPLY
      • srw@TOMMIE CLARK
        June 2, 2019, 8:08 pm

        As an old person.. How well I remember Kerry in his fatigues “testifying before congress about the Vietnam war. Bragging how he threw his “medals” over the WH fence because he was so ashamed. (except these were medals he had bought ). He badmouth the country then and our military and has never stopped. Our Dem elite.. above the little people of this country.

        REPLY
    • srw@John Siemens
      June 2, 2019, 8:00 pm

      DITTO…

      REPLY
    • Franco@John Siemens
      June 3, 2019, 4:08 pm

      John Kerry,
      the winner of the LURCH-LOOK-A LOOK-A-LIKE CONTEST
      is a real COUNTERFEIT!
      I wish he would move to Iran and carry the Ayatollah’s jock strap
      out in the open!
      You know Obama & Kerry gave the Old Goat Billions in CASH,
      on UNMARKED PLANES, in the MIDDLE of the NIGHt, just
      like the cartels!!!!

      REPLY
      • Lynda@Franco
        June 9, 2019, 2:44 am

        And Kerry makes someone mad or doesn’t agree with one of them, they will BEHEAD him and put his head on a stake. They are EVIL people.

        REPLY
    • MARC@John Siemens
      June 3, 2019, 6:44 pm

      off with their heads…politics today is about lying cheating, stealing, who has the most toys, and who has the biggest mouth! Simple solution: every person that wants to live here in the USA has to read, write, speak, and understand English is universal language. Secondly each person would have to read, recite, believe in and then sign the Pledge of Allegiance to OUR FLAG and country. That would get us on the same page, starting with the President… Lastly, anyone who does not agree with us, will leave the country ASAP. If they refuse, put them in a concentration camp until they can earn their way out of OUR country. I have tried to get this idea to President Trump but have had NO results as yet…

      REPLY
    • BitinDawg@John Siemens
      June 5, 2019, 2:40 pm

      Yah, J, these are parlous times indeed. R patriots r n a zionist gulag and r conquerors r riding high and supreme. Up is down, good is bad and my tax dollars provision the bombs that murderous Saudi Arabia drops on children’s school buses.

      REPLY
  • Jeff Adickes
    June 2, 2019, 12:20 pm

    Why allow that? Lock them up for TREASON

    REPLY
  • Nate Paris
    June 2, 2019, 12:26 pm

    President Trump and his administration must begin holding John Kerry and others of previous administrations for communicating and putting their noses where they DO NOT belong! These nit-wits can alter anything the current administration is attempting to do. Laws must have been broken here?
    If I were to alert someone that authorities are on their way to arrest someone, so go run and hide? I would surely be arrested for something! Don’t tell me that these people have done nothing wrong. This is our Nations security for God’s sake! What if one of these individuals were held by Iranians, kid-napped, a member of their family then held for ransom or even worse- beheaded is it were ISIS? How would The United States need to react? With force? Or since they shouldn’t had been communicating with them in the first place, to hell with them? I’m sure those with different political interest would bitch then!

    REPLY
    • The Patriot Widow@Nate Paris
      June 2, 2019, 2:46 pm

      I LOVE the President but he is condemned for protecting our borders, for insisting on FAIR play with other countries, for not BOWING to terrorists, for putting the people back in control of their government versus the other way around, for putting our veterans first, for building the military up to withstand an attack from all sides, for insisting on honest elections, for putting in a tax plan that helps Americans and brings jobs back to the US, for increasing the GDP so as to reduce our debt, for bringing unemployment down to the lowest now in 50 years, for helping people of color get off of humiliating welfare and working for a living to support their families, to passing a crime bill to get people out of prison who are unfairly in for long terms, the list goes on and on…

      But NO the liberals anti American immoral trash doesn’t care. We are lost as a nation, completely lost. President Trump – THANK YOU for having the courage to get up each day to tackle the real issues in America and putting ME and MY family first over an illegal alien. You are remarkable and you have my vote sir.

      REPLY
      • Marilyn Z@The Patriot Widow
        June 2, 2019, 6:59 pm

        I have come to the conclusion that the majority of the liberals are too damned lazy to investigate anything. They were so overjoyed to finally have a black president, even if he were muslim, that they will believe any nonsense he and his cohorts in crime/treason will say without ever checking. I have seen this in my family and friends. They do not want to find that Obama could actually have been a traitor to this country.

        REPLY
    • MARC@Nate Paris
      June 3, 2019, 6:53 pm

      5 of these insane liberal demotard tyrunt criminal bastards, are being brought to justice RIGHT NOW. There will be many more, just gettin started because of all the not-so-great-lawyers that think THEY are runnin’ the place, OVER MY DEAD BODY…

      REPLY
  • CUZIN ERN
    June 2, 2019, 12:26 pm

    If it was good to use in 1799, it still swings yet for those who since affording consolement to an enemy is treason in a simple note!

    REPLY
  • Anthony R Napolillo
    June 2, 2019, 12:33 pm

    TREASON!!!

    REPLY

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