There is an interesting exchange in today’s testimony between Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Representative Alan Grayson of Florida. Grayson’s first question was, “Will implementation of the agreement increase Iran’s support for terrorism?”
Seven seconds go by in silence before Secretary Kerry admits that we have no way to know, but possibly.
The question was not whether Iran might continue supporting terrorism in spite of implementation of the deal. Apparently no one thinks that it is possible that they might not. What the Congressman wanted to know was whether the deal will lead to an increase in Iranian state-sponsored terrorism. The answer was to shrug off the question. Possibly. Next?
The next two questions were about whether Iran might pocket the money and the initial gifts it receives from the international community and then walk away, keeping the money and then continuing with a bomb. Secretary Kerry clearly thinks this is unlikely. He believes Iran will be motivated by the foreign investment it hopes to receive to adhere to the path outlined by the deal.
It seems that Secretary Kerry has forgotten that the Iranian revolution resulted in the nationalization of almost all foreign investments made in its economy. As is pointed out by the US Institute of Peace, the Iranian revolution is strongly influenced not only by its obvious Islamist roots, but also by revolutionary Marxism. As a consequence, it showed no hesitation about nationalizing foreign investments during the initial period of the revolution for reasons of “social justice.” Likewise Ahmadinejad in 2005 promised to distribute oil revenues to the entire population, although the oil fields were originally developed through foreign investment and not by Iran itself. The very forces that Secretary Kerry cites – concern about jobs among the youth – are reasons why a form of government like this one is quite likely to engage in nationalizing of any new investments that are made. Rather than submit to the will of the market, it is likely to seize control of any investments in response to social pressures.
We simply are not in a position to say whether Iran will take the money and run, just as we are not in a position to say that it will increase its support for terrorism across the region. We are in a position to say, on both questions, that the regime’s history and ideology both strongly suggest that it will.
The triumph of hope over experience is the hallmark of the administration’s position on Iran. On question after question, we are being asked to accept that this deal is going to change who Iran is. We are being asked to accept this in spite of there being no evidence whatsoever to support it. Representative Ted Poe asked about the fact that Iran’s supreme leader was chanting “Death to America.” Kerry’s response was to say that “Death to America” doesn’t imply a policy of seeking America’s death.
Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama returned to the question of whether these “Death to America” chants might mean that Iran was going to supply terrorists with weapons obtained via enactment of the deal to kill American citizens. “Well, they may,” Kerry admitted. “They may.”
With all due respect to the Secretary of State, the fact is not that they may. The fact is that, for thirty-six years, they have never missed a chance to.
In addition to this blind hope in Iranian change in spite of clear evidence of continued ill intent, it is not at all clear that the administration is right to believe that this inspection regime will stop Iran from developing a bomb. The secretary once again spoke only to the Uranium wing of the program, not to the plutonium wing. We still know nothing about the Bushehr pressurized water plant’s disposition under this deal. It is not clear that the Secretary knows what the disposition of the Bushehr pressurized water plant will be under this deal. The details of the last set of secret IAEA/Iran deals were not revealed to him, and these may not be either. So far no one in Congress has asked him that question.