John Kerry Tries To Salvage Iran Deal Behind Trump's Back; Secretly Meets With Top Iran Official

Obama's Secretary of State, John Kerry and a group of his former State Department officials, have been busy unofficial diplomats in recent weeks. While President Trump prepares to pull the plug on the infamous Iran deal, Kerry has been sneaking around the world trying to salvage the pact he presided over ahead of its May 12 renewal deadline, the Boston Globe reported Friday.

John Kerry’s bid to save one of his most significant accomplishments as secretary of state took him to New York on a Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, where, more than a year after he left office, he engaged in some unusual shadow diplomacy with a top-ranking Iranian official.

He sat down at the United Nations with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to discuss ways of preserving the pact limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It was the second time in about two months that the two had met to strategize over salvaging a deal they spent years negotiating during the Obama administration, according to a person briefed on the meetings. -Boston Globe

Kerry has also met with leaders from Europe, including German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, EU official Federica Mogherini and French President Emmanuel Macron in both Paris and New York, where they discussed sanctions and regional nuclear threats in both French and English. 

This type of "rogue" diplomacy is very rare for a former Secretary of State.

As The Globe notes, the effort to salvage the Iran deal "highlight the stakes for Kerry personally, as well as for other Obama-era diplomats who are dismayed by what they see as Trump’s disruptive approach to diplomacy, and who view the Iran nuclear deal as a factor for stability in the Middle East and for global nuclear nonproliferation."

It is unusual for a former secretary of state to engage in foreign policy like this, as an actual diplomat and quasi-negotiator,” said foreign policy expert Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution. “Of course, former secretaries of state often remain quite engaged with foreign leaders, as they should, but it’s rarely so issue-specific, especially when they have just left office.

Kerry has flown under the radar in this quiet lobbying campaign in order to avoid provoking President Trump into pulling the United States out of the deal.

“Part of the equation is if Ernie [Ernest Moniz, the former US energy Secretary] or John made a bold statement, [Trump] is . . . crazy, and he might do the opposite just to spite them,” one source who has worked with Kerry told The Globe. “You’re liable to spur this guy in a direction you don’t want him to go in, just to be spiteful.”

Moniz was a key negotiator of the Iran deal, along with his Iranian counterpart, as they hammered out some of the technical scientific details. 

Democratic lawmakers in Congress also have been relatively quiet, and not all share Kerry’s belief that the deal is essential for preventing a nuclear arms race in the volatile region. Kerry has quietly tried to bolster support in Congress. In recent weeks he’s placed dozens of phone calls and, often with Moniz by his side, has lobbied members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan. While he is not negotiating as he did as secretary of state, he is attempting through quiet advocacy to preserve what he accomplished.

Kerry supporters see in this campaign some of his trademark traits, especially his unflagging energy even in the face of potential failure. Critics see something else, a former office holder working with foreign officials to potentially undermine the policy aims of a current administration. -Boston Globe

Logan act violation?

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz says Kerry's push to salvage the Iran deal would be violating the Logan Act, if it was enforced. 

The act prohibits private citizens from acting on behalf of the United States while negotiating with foreign governments without authorization. Fortunately for Kerry, nobody has ever been prosecuted under the 200+ year old act.

Fortunately for everybody, the Logan Act [is a] dead letter but if it were in existence, my friend John Kerry would be violating the Logan Act,” Dershowitz told Fox & Friends, adding “He is negotiating, though he is not in the administration, and there are real problems with doing that."

Meanwhile, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of developing a secret project to "test and build nuclear weapons" before the 2015 Iran deal was reached.

In a global televised address, Netanyahu  unveiled a cache of 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs, comprising Iran's alleged "atomic archive" of documents on its nuclear program; the files allegedly prove Tehran ran a secret program, called Project Amad, to "test and build nuclear weapons."

While Iranian leaders have long said their nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, Netanyahu claimed this was not the case according to tens of thousands of pages of documents, which he said were copied from a "highly secret location" in Iran. 

Those files allegedly detail Project Amad, which Netanyahu described as "a comprehensive program to design, build and test nuclear weapons."

“These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program,” Netanyahu said. “The files prove that.”

Kerry responded to Netanyahu's evidence - stating that the documents were nothing new, and simply prove that all that's needed are inspections to ensure that Iran is complying with the current agreement.

“Every detail PM Netanyahu presented yesterday was every reason the world came together to apply years of sanctions and negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement — because the threat was real and had to be stopped,” Kerry tweeted Tuesday. “It’s working!”

Kerry is coordinating his push with a group of officials who were his top advisers at the State Department, and who helped craft and negotiate the Iran deal in the first place. The group, called Diplomacy Works, has an advisory council that includes lead Iran-deal negotiator Wendy Sherman, former State Department chief of staff Jon Finer, and former spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

The group claims to be responsible for 100 news articles, 34 television and radio hits, and 37 opinion pieces on the Iran question. They do fact checks of criticisms of the agreement and blast them out to an e-mail list of nearly 4,000 policy makers and foreign policy experts. -Boston Globe

In other words, a former US Secretary of State is working with his former colleagues to conduct United States diplomacy with foreign leaders with no official permission. We can only guess what the pitch is "He'll be out in 2020, just hang on..."

Critics of Kerry's rogue diplomacy had some choice words for the former Secretary of State:

Comments

BritBob Sat, 05/05/2018 - 13:53 Permalink

 

Can Kerry be trusted? .

On the Falklands, however, Mr Kerry made clear that America was resolutely neutral on the question of the Islands’ sovereignty.

Can Iran be trusted?

Iran is a member of the UN C24 decolonisation committee and supports Argentina's mythical Malvinas' claim. So much for the human and democratic rights of the Falkland Islanders and so much for that so-called sovereignty claim.

How would a map of the world look today if all of the territory lost and gained over the past 180 years reverted to its 19th century status? Quite a ridiculous proposal.

Falklands – Acquisitive Prescription(1 pg): https://www.academia.edu/35552595/Falklands_-Acquisitive_Prescription

 

BullyBearish IridiumRebel Sat, 05/05/2018 - 14:11 Permalink

the most vile der $hitz doing us all a favor by trying to SAVE the iran deal... 

 

                                                     NOT!

 

ziohedge in full force using the binary construct to get support for their criminals by pandering and showing "worse" criminals to make their criminals better... 

In reply to by IridiumRebel

Future_Cannibal agela.lisa77 Sat, 05/05/2018 - 15:07 Permalink

Just be honest. You whore yourself out. You freaks should stick to the fecesbook crowd, you'll get more clicks. Only retards will click your link dumbass bot.

 

This fucking clown Kerry is openly breaking the law. Everybody just sits on their thumbs while our "betters" do not have to follow the rule of law. We deserve our fate in every form for not curtailing this lawlessness.

In reply to by agela.lisa77

Slack Jack JRobby Sat, 05/05/2018 - 17:56 Permalink

.

So, why was the first world war planned and executed?

To establish Israel.

The plan was already well known in 1853.

"The subversion of the Turkish Power will evidently occasion, as all seem to anticipate, a fearful general war. This war will, I believe, be the last under the present order of things. It will commence, indeed, in Europe: but,... it will pass into Palestine.... and, in the course of its evolutions, Israel will be restored."

The quote is from George Faber's 1853 book on the downfall of the Turkish power and the return of the ten tribes.

It mostly came true:

"The subversion of the Turkish Power [the Ottoman Empire] will evidently occasion, as all seem to anticipate, a fearful general war [the first world war]. This war will, I believe, be the last under the present order of things [a new world order]. It will commence, indeed, in Europe [with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914]: but,... it will pass into Palestine [western troops entered Palestine early in 1917].... and, in the course of its evolutions [the second world war in 1939], Israel will be restored [Israel was created in 1948]."

In reply to by JRobby

BrownCoat JRobby Mon, 05/07/2018 - 04:23 Permalink

Kerry is still trying (and failing) to have a legacy.

Kerry negotiated and failed to end the Vietnam War.
Kerry (as soon as becoming Obama's SOS) tried and failed to negotiate an Israeli/Palestinian peace deal.
Kerry has failed to prevent Iran from halting its nuclear development.

In reply to by JRobby

brianshell Stuck on Zero Sat, 05/05/2018 - 17:27 Permalink

The deep state will rue the day they resurrected the Logan Act.

also.

George Webb has revealed most of this ratline of uranium, centrifuges, weapons and drugs over the past year. It seems the deep globe players have come to believe that the USA is nothing more than another country to pillage and rape.

The revelations that it was the deep globers that supplied the nuclear materials to Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and Iran along with involving the players in eastern Europe and Africa are slowly coming to light. Even the US bureau of land management and FBI driving farmers off their land so congressmen can sell the uranium rights and pocket bribes is making the news.

The names connected are too numerous to list. The ratlines have been in operation since WW2.

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

Harry Lightning HowdyDoody Sat, 05/05/2018 - 15:44 Permalink

Most of the time these apparently rogue entreaties in international diplomacy actually are sanctioned by the people in office. Sometimes its a version of good cop/bad cop, sometimes its meant for intentional misinformation to confuse the counter-party with whom you are negotiating, sometimes its because someone out of office has a very good relationship with a group the people in power want to deal with. 

None of the details of who permitted what ever come out, because it would blow the cover of the real purpose of the operation. But American diplomacy to the degree its practiced is a lot more bipartisan than American internal politics. 

So I would not be surprised if Kerry was asked to take these initiatives by the Trump administration, and the information contained in this story was planted by someone or group who did not want it to succeed. Could be tight wing Repubs or left wing dems who are already using the Preparation H because of what Trump has seemed to pull off in Korea. 

Much of what you see from both the Pentagon and the State Department is not what it appears to be, and this is one example.

As a side note, Nixon and Kissinger excelled at this type of activity. Especially in their dealings in the Middle East. They often called upon people from the other side of the aisle politically to assist them in a policy initiative, because the people they selected had a special relationship with whoever they were negotiating with. Its really not that unusual, much less than this article would make it appear to be. 

In reply to by HowdyDoody

Harry Lightning overmedicatedu… Sat, 05/05/2018 - 17:31 Permalink

Yes, you probably are correct. There are a number of people who were involved in the deal who likely received a gift to go along with backing the deal who would like to keep their good fortune secret. But while that blackmail on Kerry's part may work to keep the original conspirators in the fold supporting the existing agreement, it would do nothing to change the mind of the Trump people. Those are the ones who want to tear the agreement apart, and as such, why would Kerry be wasting his time on the people who will not affect the current situation. 

Which is another reason that leads me to believe that Kerry is not working on his own, but is carrying water for the Trump administration to broker a deal that is acceptable to them. It really makes sense considering the Iranians trusted Kerry enough to bargain with him the first time around, and so he would have a better chance of getting them to bend than a direct representative of Trump, who the Iranian leadership must despise for making life difficult for them.

In reply to by overmedicatedu…

Harry Lightning DjangoCat Sat, 05/05/2018 - 21:33 Permalink

Sorry, but even Kerry is not stupid enough to be trying to convince the wrong people to support the existing Iran deal. Even school children in America know that Trump is not the type of person to be influenced by world opinion, every international decision he has made from climate to Korea evidences he listens to the sound of his own drum. If Kerry wants to preserve some portion of the agreement he negotiated with Iran, he has to convince just one guy - Truimp - and not the rest of the world because Trump will not be listening to the rest of the world.

Which makes the argument that Kerry is negotiating behind Trump's back rather empty. And so the differential diagnosis seems to point to the opposite, that Kerry is working with the Trump administration to alter the terms of the existing agreement. 

Time will tell.

In reply to by DjangoCat

I Am Jack's Ma… Bigly Sat, 05/05/2018 - 14:18 Permalink

Iran deal should be maintained, and complaints about it aren’t really about diversion of uranium but the neocons/Zionists sinply want to keep moving the goalposts of any agreement until the Iranians walk away so Breitbart and CNN can say ‘see, Iran isnt interested in peace!’

And the idea Iran is going to invade Israel from Syria is preposterous.  But they’ll continue to arm the Lebanese (Hez.) which the Jews don’t like because they want to steal Lebanon’s land (and gas) to the Litani.

This said, no matter the age of the Logan Act it’s still the law.  Indeed the last admin used it as pretext to perjury trap Flynn.

 

So Sessions should absolutely prosecute Kerry.

 

On the other hand, Bolton likely violated the Logan Act during the Shrub regime.   And he is likely not especially concerned with carrying out Trump’s agenda.

 

https://original.antiwar.com/porter/2018/05/01/did-john-bolton-leak-intelligence-to-sabotage-a-trump-kim-deal/

In reply to by Bigly

el buitre I Am Jack's Ma… Sat, 05/05/2018 - 15:42 Permalink

1)  The Logan Act (1799) obviously violates the first amendment unless someone fraudulently claims that they are a current federal official.  Then it is fraud.  Exactly which EU officials are so ignorant to think the Kerry is still Secretary of State?  Maybe Juncker after his fifth glass of wine.  Two indictments in the 19th century, none in the 20th or 21st.  No convictions.  If we were indicted for every law on the federal books, there wouldn't be enough people outside of prison to sit on juries.  How about Henry Kissinger.  He was a Secretary of State.  Let's start with him.  But better to indict him for crimes against humanity than the stupid Logan Act.

2)  To say the least, I am not a big fan of Mr. Skull and Bones John Kerry.  But I have not read one comment here that gets into specific facts and details about what is "wrong" with the Iran treaty other than the fact that the US is incapable of keeping any treaty.  Where is the treaty where Israel agrees not to enrich uranium to weapon grade U235 or plutonium?  Iran/Persia has not attacked another country in centuries.  The US should be at war with Israel for attacking the defenseless USS Liberty in 1967, killing 34 sailers and wounding 171, including strafing sailers in life rafts.  The Liberty's crime was to witness the fact that Israel was the aggressor in the 6 day war.

3)  Trump is obviously a Zionist.  His son-in-law is an active member of an extreme Zionist religious group and Trump has sent him to the Middle East to negotiate with heads of state and foreign ministers.  Israel is trying to lead the world into WWIII and it doesn't have the guts are ability to defeat Iran.  But Israel will fight to the last American dead soldier.

In reply to by I Am Jack's Ma…

Harry Lightning el buitre Sat, 05/05/2018 - 17:58 Permalink

The Israelis have never admitted to even having a nuclear weapon much less threatening to use one against any other nation. The Iranian leadership on numerous occasions during the last fifteen years has vowed to "wipe Israel from the map". That's the difference. Words mean what they say, and only a fool would disregard the threats made by a country that is known to be trying to develop a nuclear arsenal. 

Accordingly that is why the Western world at one time or another and to various degrees has tried during the last decade to seriously neuter if not destroy the ability of the Iranians to successfully develop a nuclear arsenal. The main problem with the bullshit agreement ( and remember that it is an Agreement and not a Treaty, as it was not ratified by the US Senate as all Treaties must be)the Americans signed with Iran is that it contemplates and accepts that after a ten year hiatus, the Iranians will be allowed to re-open their development work to build that nuclear arsenal. As was said by commentators at the time the agreement was signed, it virtually guaranteed that Iran would have a nuclear weapon ten years from the time of the signing. 

Additionally the requirements surrounding verification that Iran adheres to the demands of the agreement are inexcusably weak. As history has proven, verification regimens to stop nuclear weapon proliferation have rarely if ever had any positive outcomes, as the leadership of the reporting country has a huge advantage in being able to hide aspects of the program they do not want the inspectors to see. Or they do what Saddam did and restrict the inspectors' access to the areas where the alleged weapon development is occurring. 

So the real point that Trump's people and many others are upset about is that this agreement does not solve anything, it just delays the date when the problem will become very dangerous. Similar to the rubbish agreement that Jimmy Carter made with North Korea in 1994, which took the world to the brink of a nuclear war some 23 years later. Trump does not want the US to have to go through a repeat of what happened with North Korea, which is likely to happen if the present agreement with Iran is not re-drawn.

No agreement is better than a terribly flawed agreement, and therefore the Trump people are publicly taking a very hard line against Iran. But my hunch is that they will settle for a compromise and Kerry is helping them to get the Iranians to accept the terms for such.

In reply to by el buitre

Ms. Erable el buitre Sun, 05/06/2018 - 00:58 Permalink

Someone hasn't been paying attention - there is no "Iran Treaty". An agreement brokered by the Executive branch does not have the force of law behind it without approval of the US Senate, passed by popular vote, and signed into law by the sitting POTUS (i.e., a treaty) .

The Iran DEAL expired when a new Chief Executive was installed, who can choose to honor or ignore the deal at his pleasure.

As to your first point: are you saying treason is protected by the first amendment?

I do (mostly) agree with your third point; (((Kushner))) shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a seat of power (save an electrified one).

In reply to by el buitre

PeaceForWorld I Am Jack's Ma… Sat, 05/05/2018 - 22:23 Permalink
  1. Alan Dershowitz used to be for Hillary, then he switched to Trump fan. Because he is a Zionist and he is assigned by Israhell to control Qatar.
  2. I campaigned for Iran Deal, I poured my heart into it. I called and talked to every Congress member, send emails, signed signatures, and campaigned on every Social Media platform.

    I am Iranian-American and all I wanted was to bring peace to the world. But I made a huge mistake. Iran Deal was a mistake. It weakened Iran as a power and didn’t allow all the critical sanctions to get removed. US made Iranian people suffer. I am not a fan of Obama, but I questioned his motives. Since Obama was the one that added Iran to the list of banned countries. Obama also imposed more Ballistic Missile sanctions. Obama passed all these to Trump. 
    If Trump and stupid people REALLY BELIVE that pulling out of Iran-Deal without protection/condom, then they got it! I really want US to pull out and Iran start enriching or buying Uranium from its allies and neighbors like Pakistan/Russia/China.  Then no Hippocratic dictator like Bibi/Trump/MBS will think twice about attacking Iran.

In reply to by I Am Jack's Ma…