By: Sarah Stern, EMET—
The Iranian nuclear deal is a paradigm study in the art of deception. If one looks into the history of U.S. foreign policy, one can find instances of deception, such as when the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson exaggerated our gains in the conflict in Vietnam and understated our losses. Never before, however, in our nation’s history has an enemy who blatantly threatens the national security interests of the United States and her allies been packaged to appear to the American public as a friend.
The Iranian agreement is not one, but two distinct agreements (the English version is 159 pages long, while the bill that encompasses the agreement voted for by the Majlis, the Iranian parliament, is over 1,000 pages long). These agreements, though never signed, will have national security implications for generations to come.
When $150 billion is released to the world’s foremost state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, a country that wants a Shia hegemony in the Middle East as well as the rest of the world, a great deal of havoc will be unleashed. And if the architects of this deal think this damage will be inflicted solely upon Israel or the Sunni Arab nations, they have another thing coming. According to the United States Institute of Peace, “Iran has the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East.”
Iran is now working on a space program that the Pentagon views as critical for the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. In April of 2016, Iran launched the Simorgh rocket. The Simorgh is estimated to have enough lift to carry a nuclear warhead, and defense officials say it could be used as a ballistic missile.
The Iranians have long been working with the North Koreans, and $150 billion can buy a great deal of technology.
To add insult to the injury to America’s national security, the architects of this deal have the sheer audacity to gloat about selling their version of an Iran that does not exist in reality. In his now seminal profile of Ben Rhodes in The New York Times, David Samuels noted that Ben Rhodes, whom he claims is “Obama’s foreign policy guru,” smugly referred to the Washington foreign policy establishment as “the Blob.”
What comes out of this article is the fact that the Obama administration was “actively misleading” the American public by asserting that the nuclear deal came about because of the election of the “moderate” Hassan Rouhani in 2013. We know this claim was largely fabricated because as Samuels writes, “the most meaningful part of the negotiations had begun in mid-2012.”
Of course, myself and others had been writing all along that no one could even run in these elections unless they had been hand-picked by the Iranian regime, and that Hassan Rouhani was just a new, pretty face behind which lurked the devastating ambitions of the Islamic republic.
What is most appalling is how Rhodes boasts of his ability to get tweeters and newly minted journalists to repeat his talking points to push forward the idea of a fictional Iran, one that was softer and more moderate, to sell the Iranian nuclear deal.
However, responsible foreign policy is based not on the world as we would like it to be, or as it ought to be, but as it actually is.
As of this weekend, however, an alarming AP story has emerged that details how the White House used the left-wing, pacifist Ploughshares Fund to sell the Iranian nuclear deal to the American people. Over the past year, the Ploughshares Fund gave more than $281,000 to the National Iranian American Council, which is known to have acted as a foreign agent for the government of Iran; and $100,000 to the left-wing National Public Radio station for its coverage of the Iranian nuclear deal. According to the AP story, “The Arms Control Association got $282,500; the Brookings Institution, $225,000; and the Atlantic Council, $182,500. They received money for Iran-related analysis, briefings and media outreach, and non-Iran nuclear work.” Princeton University received $70,000 for its employment of former Iranian diplomat Sayyed Hossein Mousavian. The facile apologist and defender of the Iranian regime now teaches some of America’s finest young minds at the university.
However, the largest single recipient of the Ploughshares Fund was the left-wing Jewish group J Street, which received $575,000, so that this ludicrous deal could be sold to a skeptical American Jewish public.
It is one thing to misread another nation’s intentions. It is quite another thing to carefully create an echo chamber through an intricate web of deception.
When President Barack Obama ran for office, he wrote a book entitled “The Audacity of Hope.” As the second term of the Obama administration winds to a close, a more apt term for this presidency is “The Audacity of Deception.”
Sarah N. Stern is founder and president of the Endowment of Middle East Truth, EMET, a pro-Israeli and pro-American think tank and policy institute.