February 15th, 2017

Obama’s secret negotiations with Iran

John Hinderaker reminds us of the following:

…in 2008, while he was running for the presidency, Barack Obama deliberately undermined American foreign policy by secretly encouraging Iran’s mullahs to hold out until he became president, because he would be easier to deal with than President George Bush. I wrote about the Obama scandal here: “HOW BARACK OBAMA UNDERCUT BUSH ADMINISTRATION’S NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS WITH IRAN.” Check out the original post for links. Here it is:

In 2008, the Bush administration, along with the “six powers,” was negotiating with Iran concerning that country’s nuclear arms program. The Bush administration’s objective was to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. On July 20, 2008, the New York Times headlined: “Nuclear Talks With Iran End in a Deadlock.” What caused the talks to founder? The Times explained:

“Iran responded with a written document that failed to address the main issue: international demands that it stop enriching uranium. And Iranian diplomats reiterated before the talks that they considered the issue nonnegotiable.”

The Iranians held firm to their position, perhaps because they knew that help was on the way, in the form of a new president. Barack Obama had clinched the Democratic nomination on June 3. At some point either before or after that date, but prior to the election, he secretly let the Iranians know that he would be much easier to bargain with than President Bush…

So Obama secretly told the mullahs not to make a deal until he assumed the presidency, when they would be able to make a better agreement. Which is exactly what happened…

Please read the whole thing.

This is a direct parallel with the present allegations about Trump, except that it’s worse because (a) Obama wasn’t even elected yet; he was merely the nominee; and (b) Iran is a far more irrational enemy than Russia and this concerned a vital matter of policy. What’s more, of course, the press was on Obama’s side and therefore protected him to a great extent.

We also know, of course—because it was recorded by media, not by wiretap—that Obama assured Russia in 2012 that he would have more “flexibility” after the election, when he would no longer have to answer to the American voter:

Mr Medvedev, who steps down in May, said he would pass on Mr Obama’s message to his successor Vladimir Putin, according to an audio recording of comments the two leaders made during a meeting in Seoul, South Korea.

Mr Obama says: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defence, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”

Mr Medvedev replies: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you …”

Mr Obama retorts: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

The media didn’t seem to care much about that. Of course, he was already president then, so the person he was promising to undercut was his own previous self.

9 Responses to “Obama’s secret negotiations with Iran”

  1. expat Says:

    Someone needs to do a film on media hypocricy WRT Obama and Trump and find a way to show it to lots of young people-especially those college-age idiots who think they know everything. Maybe it could be spread around on Facebook. It could include te latest FOIA info on Bengazi and info on te Russian uranium deal.

  2. SAD Says:

    in 2008, while he was running for the presidency, Barack Obama deliberately undermined American foreign policy by secretly encouraging Iran’s mullahs….

    Before Ronald Reagan was elected president in November 1980, the prevailing political wisdom about US Middle East policy went as follows: Although the Ayatollah Khomeini had thwarted Jimmy Carter at every turn, Carter’s failed Desert One rescue attempt might look mild in comparison to what Ronald Reagan was likely to do to gain the release of the American hostages being held in the US Embassy in Tehran

    Did Iran Delay Hostages Release To Ensure Reagan’s Election?
    by Richard Curtiss

    If this story turns out to be true, it would be the most diabolical intrigue of the century: a secret deal in 1980 between Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to keep 52 American hostages imprisoned in Tehran until that year’s election day, thus sealing Reagan’s march to the White House.

    And that isn’t all. Since the unproven allegations of a secret Reagan-Khomeini deal surfaced, a strange parade of gun-runners and global schemers has come forward to offer new and astonishing versions of the saga–including a charge that Bush, at a secret meeting with Iranian agents in Paris, agreed to pay Tehran $40 million as part of the deal

    1980 Deal Alleged : Leads, Leaps of Faith in Hostage TaleLAT – Oct 1988

  3. SAD Says:

    Let not forgot what The Iran-Contra AffairAs president, Reagan felt that “he had the duty to bring those Americans home,” and he convinced himself that he was not negotiating with terrorists. While shipping arms to Iran violated the embargo, dealing with terrorists violated Reagan’s campaign promise never to do so. Reagan had always been admired for his honesty.

  4. SAD Says:

    US had extensive contact with Ayatollah Khomeini before Iran revolution

  5. Montage Says:

    But even you concede that: “The Iranians held firm to their position, PERHAPS because they knew that help was on the way, in the form of a new president.” You then talk of a ‘secret channel’ via William G Miller.

    Michael Ledeen claims to have spoken to Miller. Yet that it is not a confirmation. Michael only writes: “Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.”

    What exactly was said?

    Are presidential candidates absolutely not allowed to give a nod to leaders of other countries that they might be easier to deal with? Remember Trump went down to Mexico during the campaign? Obviously Mexico is not Iran but without knowing exactly what transpired I am not sure one can confirm beyond a doubt that anything happened. [The same can be said for Trump and Russia – I will admit. But there is more evidence at this point].

    Also, if this assumption was true [or close to true] the Republicans would not have let it slide. Is there any evidence that the GOP attempted to make a big deal of this? Were they just clueless?

  6. Chester Draws Says:

    (b) Iran is a far more irrational enemy

    Don’t confuse your distaste for them with irrationality. Nothing Iran does is irrational, nor even unpredictable. The mullahs have a policy line with respect to the US and they stick to it pretty steadily. That we don’t like their policy doesn’t make it irrational.

    Saddam Hussein was irrational — invading countries on the spur of the moment, faking WMDs. Iran isn’t close to behaviour like that. Putin is more likely to do things like that, in my opinion, than the mullahs (if nothing else, their regime has some internal checks that Putin does not face).

    I’ll accept that Iran is a more imminent threat, but not an irrational one.

    Compare them to North Korea, where everyone is genuinely scared that they might do something truly reckless.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Chester Draws:

    You misunderstand what I meant by “more irrational.” You also misunderstand why I say it, and why I used the phrase I did.

    I did not say either country was especially irrational; I was just comparing and contrasting the two countries on that continuum, and I said that Iran was MORE irrational than Russia. This has nothing to do with whether they are more irrational than other countries, either (such as Iraq, North Korea, or any other country).

    I repeat that Iran is more irrational than Russia, and I say it mainly for one big reason: they are a fundamentalist Muslim theocracy. As such, they have different aims and concerns than the aims and concerns of a man such as Putin, who is wholly grounded in this world. As leaders, the Iranian mullahs are very concerned both with this world and with their point of view regarding the next world. They are probably willing to sacrifice more of their people in that endeavor. Their aims regarding Israel are more inscrutable for that reason as well, in particular what use they might make of nuclear weapons and for what reasons.

    For years people have discussed to what extent Iran is a rational actor in terms of what they are willing to do with atomic weapons. Reasonable people differ on that, but I am almost positive that the majority of people would probably agree with me that on that score the Iranian rulers are more irrational (more willing to take risks) than Putin’s Russia.

  8. Frog Says:

    My take is Reagan’s thrust in the Iran-Contra affair was a) to get Iran to get Hezbollah to release seven Americans held in Lebanon, and b) to end-run the (typically Democratic) Boland Amendment that prohibited direct (note the direct) US support of the Nicaraguan Contras (trying to overthrow the ultra-Left Sandinista regime).

    So Reagan was not negotiating with the hostage-taker, Hezbollah. You may deem that a distinction without a difference if you choose.

    The attempt to surmount the Boland (D-MA) Amendment and assist the help-deserving Contras take back their country by reimbursing Israel for its contributions to the Contras were in my view noble.

    The Dems have been totalitarian-bent for a long time, seeking to prevent or suppress liberties here and abroad.

  9. Kyndyll G Says:

    “Rational” (defined as “based on or in accordance with reason or logic”) is not a word I would use in conjunction with an apocalyptic Muslim theocracy.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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