WashingtonTimes.com reports that
President Trump in 2019 sought to open a back channel of communication with top Iranian officials and saw the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September as a potential opportunity to defuse escalating tension with Tehran, but the effort failed.
Two months earlier, however, a different back channel was thriving in New York. Iran’s smooth, English-speaking foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, met with Robert Malley, who was President Obama’s Middle East adviser, in an apparent bid to undermine the Trump team and lay the groundwork for post-Trump relations.
The attempt at counterdiplomacy offers a window into the deep relationships Mr. Zarif forged with influential U.S. liberals over the past decade. These relationships blossomed into what high-level national security and intelligence sources say allowed the Iranian regime to bypass Mr. Trump and work directly with Obama administration veterans that Tehran hoped would soon return to power in Washington.
One of those was former Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who met with Mr. Zarif during the Trump years. So did Obama-era Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. They, along with Mr. Malley, were top U.S. negotiators of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). As part of the deal, Tehran promised to limit its nuclear enrichment activities in exchange for economic sanctions relief and access to tens of billions of dollars in frozen bank accounts.
Mr. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the pact in 2018. He cited the need for a much tougher agreement that also addressed Iran’s support for terrorist groups and its destabilizing behavior in the Middle East.
Mr. Kerry and Mr. Malley are now in the Biden administration, Mr. Kerry as a climate adviser and Mr. Malley poised to play a major role in U.S.-Iranian relations from his perch as special envoy for Iran policy at the State Department.
But Mr. Zarif’s power extends far beyond the negotiating table. Numerous sources have told The Washington Times that he wields tremendous influence over a tightly knit group inside the U.S. that has long advocated for Washington to take a more accommodating tack toward Iran.
The sources, including several from the U.S. intelligence community who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described a “web” of activity tied to prominent think tanks across the United States, as well as lobbying efforts that reached directly into the White House during the Obama years.
It’s an informal union of Iran apologists and pro-diplomacy advocates that helps amplify Mr. Zarif’s talking points, giving the Iranian Foreign Ministry influence over public opinion in the United States and considerable sway in left-leaning political and social circles.
One former U.S. official described Mr. Zarif as “the bat signal” for a network that encompasses left-leaning university professors, think tank analysts and other corners of civil society calling for a less-confrontational relationship with the regime in Tehran.
“He’s the signal for an echo chamber internationally that has been established over time,” the former official said.
Some foreign policy analysts argue that the shadow diplomacy between Mr. Zarif and the former Obama team was particularly striking because Iran at the time was backing plots to kill Americans stationed in neighboring Iraq and the regime was funneling money, including funds it received from sanctions relief under the JCPOA, to terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.
“Former administration officials can play a very helpful role in close coordination with a sitting administration to open and support sensitive diplomatic channels,” said Mark Dubowitz, chief executive at the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “But it is not good practice for senior officials who served at the highest levels of a former administration, Democratic or Republican, to be trying to undermine the policy of a sitting administration by engaging actively with a known enemy of the United States.
“That’s especially true when multiple administrations have determined that this enemy is the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” said Mr. Dubowitz, who has been the target of Iranian sanctions because of his outspoken criticism of the regime in Tehran.
Although details of Mr. Zarif’s face-to-face conversations with leading Democrats remain murky, one former senior U.S. official told The Times that the Iranian foreign minister held meetings throughout the Trump years, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, before the administration halted his visa in 2020.
The underlying goals of Mr. Zarif’s meetings, the official said, was “to devise a political strategy to undermine the Trump administration” and to continue building up a reservoir of support for the JCPOA, or another deal like it, that could be drawn up if a Democrat returned to the White House in 2021.
Mr. Kerry has publicly acknowledged meeting with Mr. Zarif at least twice during the early years of the Trump administration.
The thing is, gentle readers, you can bet that John F. Kerry did not think of “reaching out” to the Iranians on his own.
What was conveniently forgotten during the Trump Administration, thanks to the Liberal Mass Freak-Out over the Trump-Russia Collusion Fairy Tale, is the fact that Barack Hussein Obama, the Former Petulant President Pantywaist himself, had set up his Command Headquarters for his “Shadow Government” just a few blocks away from the White House and had even moved his “right-hand Iranian” Valerie Jarrett, into the house with him and “Mooch”.
When this was first reported. during his Nationally Syndicated Radio Talk Show, the late, great Rush Limbaugh stated on his March 2, 2017 Program that,
…The story is Valerie Jarrett moving in to the Obama family home. What the hell’s up with that?
There’s a story here is about how Obama and his people are running the resistance operation from that home, and that’s why she’s moved in. The story here is the Democrat Party being blown out of the water in election after election after election. The story here is Barack Obama’s agenda has been totally reputed by the American people. It has been rejected in 2010. It was rejected in 2012. It was rejected in 2016. It was sent packing. The story here is that Barack Obama is humiliated and angry and embarrassed that his effort to transform the United States of America into some kind of socialist paradise has been interrupted, that he was the architect of the Democrat Party defeat. And that cannot stand for the history books! And so this story is all about the Democrat Party trying to rewrite history and make it look like they actually won were it not for the cheating of the Russians and Trump.
They’re trying to convince the Europeans of this. They’re doing everything they can to delegitimize Trump, his administration, his victory. That is the story that people need to focus on because there’s evidence for that. There is evidence at every town hall protest. There is evidence all over this country every day that this sabotage is going on.
It appears the story that El Rushbo was referring to was 100% correct.
Merriam-Webster.com defines “sedition” as
: incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
It is a wonder that President Trump was able to accomplish as much as he did for our Sovereign Nation.