If any further evidence was needed to show that the nuclear talks with Iran were a tragic farce, choreographed and orchestrated by Iran, the startling revelations from a former top aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ought to do the trick.
“The US negotiating team are mainly [in Lausanne] to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he told an opposition television network in London.
Amir Hossein Motaghi was Rouhani’s image-maker during the 2013 presidential elections, the man in charge of promoting Rouhani to the nation’s youth through a vigorous social media campaign. Thanks in large part to his efforts, Rouhani captured an overwhelming majority of the youth vote and beat his nearest opponent by more than 30 points.
A journalist by trade, Motaghi says he traveled to Lausanne to cover the nuclear talks for the Iranian Student Correspondents Association (ISCA), but then quit his job and applied for political asylum.
That makes him the most recent defector from the upper reaches of Iran’s political establishment to flee the regime and seek refuge in the West.
In his interview with the opposition Iran-e Farda television in London,reported by the Daily Telegraph, Motaghi accused the regime of sending intelligence officers posing as journalists to the talks “to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels.
“My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more,” he added.
But his revelation about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his negotiating team is the real shocker. It should wipe away any shred of credibility left to a process that has aimed from the start at helping Iran to slip the deadly noose of the international economic and financial sanctions that have crippled its economy and exacerbated social unrest.
Essentially, what Motaghi said is that Secretary Kerry is working as an agent of Iran and has been arm-twisting reluctant allies, such as the French, into accepting what they know is a bad deal.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, for example, has long been insisting that Iran come clean on its previous military activities, something we are now told that the American delegation, led by Secretary Kerry, wants to leave out of the negotiation. Why? Because the Iranians have said they will not come clean.
That was too much even for the normally pro-Democrat Washington Post, which wrote in a column attributed to its Editorial Board last Friday that the deal was “a reward for Iran’s noncompliance.”
Some Iranian-Americans believe that Secretary Kerry should have recused himself from the negotiations at the very outset because of his long-standing relationship to his Iranian counter-part, Mohammad Javad Sharif.
The two first met over a decade ago at a dinner party hosted by George Soros at his Manhattan penthouse, according to a 2012 book by Hooman Majd, who frequently translates for Iranian officials.
Iranian-American sources in Los Angeles tell me that Javad Sharif’s son was the best man at the 2009 wedding between Kerry’s daughter Vanessa and Behrouz Vala Nahed, an Iranian-American medical doctor.
The newlyweds went to Iran shortly after their wedding to met Nahed’s family. Kerry ultimately revealed his daughter’s marriage to an Iranian-American once he had taken over as Secretary of State. But the subject never came up in his Senate confirmation hearing, either because Kerry never disclosed it, or because his former colleagues were too polite to bring it up.
John Kerry has long advocated nuclear negotiations with Iran. During his 2004 presidential bid, he said that if he were President, he would have “offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel” to Iran, to “test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes.”
He also has a long track record of taking money from Iranian-Americans connected to Tehran or lobbying to get U.S. sanctions on Iran removed, Tehran’s prime objective for many years, a subject I have chronicledrepeatedly.
But Kerry wasn’t the only person not officially part of the Iranian delegation who was carrying Tehran’s water in Lausanne.
Also showing up was Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), hobnobbing with Western reporters while striding into meetings side by side with the Iranian delegation.
The irony of a Swedish-Iranian running an Iranian-American lobbying organization then showing up in Lausanne to play “let’s make a deal” was not lost on the Iranian American community.
For many years Parsi and NIAC tried to disguise their lobbying efforts on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran. At one point, they sued an Iranian journalist, Hassan Dai, who openly labeled them the “Iranian lobby” in Washington – only to lose the case, with a U.S. court ordering NIAC to pay damages of over $100,000.
“Now it seems that after losing the court case, NIAC is no longer trying to hide its cozy relationship with IRI and openly communicates with the regime,” Dr. Iman Foroutan, a California entrepreneur and Chairman of The New Iran, a pro-freedom forum, told me.
“Those Iranian American members of NIAC that until now have not been aware of NIAC’s direct relationship with the tyrannical regime in Iran will now have to make a choice of remaining a member of or cancelling their membership with NIAC,” Dr. Foroutan said.
While Parsi’s relationship to Tehran officials angers Iranian-Americans, Secretary of State John Kerry’s lobbying his fellow foreign ministers to accept Iranian negotiating positions – if true – should make Americans livid.
That is, if anyone is still paying attention to the facts.