American Elephants

Valerie Jarrett Making Secret Deals With Iran? White House Denial. by The Elephant's Child

The Times of Israel reports that “the Geneva negotiations between the so-called P5+1 powers and Iran are a mere “facade,”because the terms of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program have been negotiated in talks between a top adviser to President Barack Obama and a leading Iranian nuclear official that have continued in secret for more than a year, Israeli television reported Sunday.”

The report, which relied on unnamed senior Israeli officials, said the US team to the secret talks was led by Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Her primary interlocutor, the report said, was the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi. The talks have been taking place in various Gulf states…

According to Channel 10, the secret channel marginalized Kerry, and was overseen by the president. The idea had been for Kerry merely to fly to Geneva, as he did last Friday, to sign a deal in which he had been a bit player. In the event, factors such as the French stance, and Israel’s very public objections, derailed this plan, and the talks broke up last Saturday without an agreement

White House spokesman Bernadette Meehan was quoted by Haaretz as saying that the report was “absolutely, 100 percent false.”

President Obama badly wants Iran to suspend parts of its nuclear program in return for easing international economic sanctions — which have been working quite successfully and have brought Iran to the negotiating table. Critics say that Iran could cheat far more easily than the rest of the world could reinstate tough sanctions.

Mr. Obama thinks that relaxing sanctions is reversible. Sanctions and arms agreements have a long history of failure. Democratic countries do not get what they bargained for, and then find themselves unable or unwilling to enforce the bargain.

According to Douglas Feith, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, the democracies are apt to hype the agreement to their voters as a proud diplomatic achievement. Their non-democratic opponents cheat, and Islamic countries are encouraged by the Koran to lie, cheat and dissemble.  The mullahs have been in charge of Iran since the revolution in 1979, when the Shah fled into exile.

It is clear that Israel is deeply worried. Congress is not pleased with attempts at a bargain with Iran. The administration fights any new sanctions. And Russia will help Iran build a second nuclear power plant according to Tehran’s top nuclear official.

I fail to understand why the Obama administration would place any faith in any agreement with Iran, or why they would believe it to be a good deal.  We should know better. Vast crowds screaming “Death to America” would seem to be a hint that perhaps the Iranian desire for nuclear weapons isn’t going to be easily abandoned. The Saudis are deeply concerned, and are working with Israel, which might be another gentle hint that something is amiss for Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry — and Ms. Jarrett as well.

Valerie Jarrett was born in Iran and still has connections there. She is a close adviser to the Obamas, but has no known record as a foreign policy negotiator. Michael Ledeen is better than most at grasping the obvious:

It’s not easy to make a deal with Iran (and even when you think you’ve made one, you might be wrong).  The failure of the Geneva talks is just another in a long series of such failures.  Even the public events are part of the well-established pattern:  the secretary of state jumps on a plane and flies to meet with the Iranians.  But when he gets there, he finds it’s not quite a done deal.  And in the wee hours of the morning two days later, there’s no deal at all.


3 Comments so far
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And here’s the part that needs paying attention to: Valerie Jarrett has no foreign policy brief – that is, she has no recognized authority to negotiate in good faith as a representative of the United States (like, oh, say, a Secretary of State or an ambassador). She can say she represents Obama, but they would know two important things about that; first, she only represents Obama, NOT the United States (as much as some people would like to think so, are not the same!) and two, her words carry almost no weight with anyone else. In addition, the Iranian government more than likely view her simply as an assistant (which would offend them diplomatically) and a woman (guess where she would fall on the “level of respect” chart in Iran). If she IS in “secret talks” with Iran, then we should look for something in the near future coming from Iran that will be a political and/or diplomatic embarrassment for the Obama White House.


Comment by Lon Mead

Well, yes, exactly. But we don’t even know if it is true, though I am astonished to find myself more apt to trust an Israeli newspaper more than the New York Times or the administration. So much depends on an understanding of just who the man is who holds the office, and we have none. Bits of gossip seep out. The president does not attend his intelligence briefings because they bore him. The president has said he knows more about most anything than his cabinet members, but he almost never meets with them. They seem to have their distinct marching orders and are afraid of him. He sees only a small clique of advisers, wants major decisions presented to him in a short paper with three options from which he can choose. And he has a great raft of advisers who do what?

He wants a deal with Iran because he’s afraid they’ll get a bomb on his watch, so he hopes to kick it down the road? He still thinks he understand the Middle East better than anyone else because he lived in Indonesia as a kid? We learned early on that he believes that all the problems of the Middle East are a result of the bad relations between Israel and Palestine, and if he can force Israel back to her original borders and grant Palestinians the “right of return” than there will be peace in that part of the world? He is meeting today with his liberal supporters in the media, to give them the talking points for ObamaCare? Let them know that he is watching them? Warning them? Who knows?


Comment by The Elephant's Child

“But we don’t even know if it is true…”

Well, that is the position the Obama administration has put itself in, isn’t it? They are very close to the point where you could say ANYTHING about it, and people will believe it… more so if the administration denies it. As I’ve noted before, Obama has just about used up all of his political capital, and he’s blown his trust and believability with the American people. No one is going to take him at his word anymore.


Comment by Lon Mead

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