Kerry: Any action by Israel would provide justification for Iran’s pursuit of nukes

posted at 12:01 pm on July 24, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Secretary of State John Kerry sat down with Matt Lauer for an interview on Today earlier, defending the deal with Iran — and telling Israel to cool their jets, almost literally. In doing so, Kerry managed to turn Israel into the aggressor and Iran into a passive actor who might somehow decide they need a bomb only if Israel attacked them. It’s a strange reversal, and one that confirms the impression that the Obama administration has become the lawyers for the mullahs (via Jeff Dunetz):

Lauer points out to Kerry that opposition to the Iran deal encompasses practically the whole Israeli political spectrum. Kerry responds by noting that a few Israelis support it — “the former head of Shin Bet … the former head of Mossad.” Kerry opts to ignore the fact that representatives of both major alliances in Israeli politics, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his erstwhile opponent in the last election Isaac Herzog, both strenuously rejected Kerry’s deal. Herzog, whom the Obama administration and Kerry in particular hoped would be a more pliable partner in US-Israeli relations, said that Kerry and Obama would “unleash a lion from its cage” with the deal, and that it would “affect our borders. and it will affect the safety of my children.”

When Lauer hinted that the deal puts us at odds with Israel if they chose to take action, Kerry responded that any such action would provide justification for Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons:

Lauer: Do you think because many in Israel including the prime minister are very uncomfortable with the deal that the it’s now making it more likely than two years ago, for example, that Israel might attempt some unilateral action — military or cyber attack against Iran?

Kerry: Well I think that would be an enormous mistake. A huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and the region, and I don’t think it’s necessary. The fact is we will have for 15 years a restraint on Iran that absolutely prevents it from developing a weapon. They can’t enrich beyond 3.67%. You can’t make a bomb at 3.67% they will have only 300 kilograms in a stockpile of enriched uranium. You can’t make a bomb with that. They would have inspections on a daily basis the in their facilities.

That assumes, of course, that the Iranians will never cheat on the agreement. That seems like a fair assumption, except if you take into consideration all of the times they’ve cheated on other agreements over the last 20+ years on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But other than that

Lauer: If the Israelis are not convinced and they take action where would it leave us the? Would we support Israel? Would the treaty go up in smoke?

Kerry: If they bombed them, sure Matt. I presume Iran would have a reason to say this is why we need a bomb. And what Iran will decide to do is dig deeper because Israel doesn’t have the ability to stop, nor do we, unless we went to all out war and literally annihilated Iran which I don’t are hear people talking about. So if you proceed with a normal military operation, you are talking about rolling back the program for two to three years. Then what do you do? And if you did that what will Iran’s response be? They are likely to decide now you have proven why we need a bomb and they will dig deeper and go get it.

Er, what? Kerry seems to forget that it’s not Israel who has spent the last three decades-plus issuing threats to wipe Iran off the map. Iran’s mullahs and their handpicked politicians have repeatedly, even joyously, pledged to destroy Israel ever since the 1979 revolution put them in power. That’s been the purpose of their pursuit of nuclear weapons, along with imposing their own regional hegemony through nuclear terrorism on top of all the other forms of terrorism they have been employing since seizing power.  In fact, Supreme Leader Ali Khameini codified the regime’s public posture on the “elimination of Israel” in November of last year, in what the Iranians must have thought would be taken as a sign of moderation.

Not surprisingly, the Israelis object to this idea, and they’re pretty sure that the nukes Iran has tried to build for two decades had Tel Aviv as their targets. They don’t want to wait until the missiles are in the air to ensure their survival. Their attempts to stop or slow down this nuclear pursuit aren’t why Iran thinks it needs the bomb, and to make that kind of statement is either willful obtuseness or astounding naïveté. Either way, it hardly makes “trust us” a great option for Israel — especially since Kerry and Obama refused to demand guarantees for Israel as part of the deal.

Kerry’s not going to be all alone in selling this crap-sandwich deal to the American public and Congress. Dave Weigel reports in the Washington Post that MoveOn will come out of mothballs to conduct protests at August town-hall meetings in favor of the deal, taking a page from 2009 Tea Party protests against ObamaCare. That comparison probably won’t last for long, though:

But MoveOn’s most ambitious goal is to turn the long August recess of 2015 into the summer of peace. The inspiration comes — just a little — from the other side. In 2009, the last Democratic Congress was almost brought to heel at town halls, a combination of grassroots activism and top-level strategizing by groups like Americans for Prosperity. Tea Party activists packed the once-sleepy meetings of their local representatives. Some viral videos made some voters into celebrities; others made congressmen into former congressmen. (The 60-day countdown for congressional action on the deal takes the recess into consideration; had the deal been finished earlier, the countdown would have lasted 30 days.) …

There are two new, stiff challenges for any effort like this. One: In 2009, members of Congress discovered that they did not like being yelled at and seeing the videos show up on TV. Since then, “tele-townhalls” and smaller, invite-only forums have become more popular, and traditional town halls have started to decrease. According to Legistorm, the 535 voting members of Congress held a total of 588 public meetings in the 2014 recess — down from an already paltry 792 the previous summer.

Problem two: MoveOn will have company. Galland framed its campaign as an answer an ongoing, expensive campaign by opponents of the deal. The American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is supplementing one ad campaign that could cost as much as $20 million. But the bulk of AIPAC’s effort is one-on-one lobbying, especially among safe Democratic members of Congress who balk at casting votes “against Israel.” Last week, at its annual Washington conference, Christians United for Israel announced the creation of a political fund to move Congress against the deal.

Good luck with that. The more that Kerry talks about this deal, the worse it sounds. They might do better to form a barrier outside of State to keep Kerry quiet.

Update: I changed “justify” to “provide justification for” in both the headline and the post, which is more accurately what Kerry asserted.


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Comments

He forgot to include “… and justify the US declaring war on Israel.”

ShainS on July 24, 2015 at 12:03 PM

Team Obama arming nuclear Iran while trying to disarm American citizens?? It would almost seem weird if I didn’t know better.

LetsBfrank on July 24, 2015 at 12:06 PM

Bill Clinton, 1994: “North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.”

John Kerry, 2015: “The fact is we will have for 15 years a restraint on Iran that absolutely prevents it from developing a weapon.”

ShainS on July 24, 2015 at 12:07 PM

The guy is flat out retarded.

fogw on July 24, 2015 at 12:09 PM

Lando Calrissien is right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-sA-NqMlvI

pendell2 on July 24, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Can Kerry finally be charged with Treason?

oscarwilde on July 24, 2015 at 12:11 PM

Not what the Founders had in mind when they created the idea of citizen legislators.

This horse-faced prig makes me embarrassed to be an American.

Bishop on July 24, 2015 at 12:12 PM

So, in the first quote Kerry states that Iran can’t make a weapon for 15 years. And in the second quote he states that we can’t stop them.

Great.

fossten on July 24, 2015 at 12:13 PM

My God….so this Iran Nuke Agreement nonsense is not at all about stupidity…it is all part of a planned designed purely malevolent policy.

Amin el-Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and friend of that paperhanger from Linz, is dancing in his coffin…along with every other author of the Final Solution.

coldwarrior on July 24, 2015 at 12:13 PM

More “failure theater”:

See if you can get the base too upset to remember the Corker vote!!!!!

kunegetikos on July 24, 2015 at 12:14 PM

It’s clear that if Israel doesn’t take out the Iranian trash, no one will. And, if Israel doesn’t find the strength to do it, they’ll be on the cusp of nuclear war in the Middle East for the foreseeable future – however long that lasts.

Obama built that.

Atlantian on July 24, 2015 at 12:15 PM

The more and more I hear this Obama admin speak the more and more it sounds like Iran already has the bomb…or at least enough fissile material to make one – only needing to miniaturize it enough to have a delivery system…

clement on July 24, 2015 at 12:18 PM

You know who would support this deal? Dschinghis Khan.

Flange on July 24, 2015 at 12:19 PM

All of Europe laugh:

1. At Kerry and the US, and

2. On the way to their banks.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2015 at 12:19 PM

An Israeli who supports the deal.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4681951,00.html

Seth Halpern on July 24, 2015 at 12:22 PM

Yay Corker Republicans!

kunegetikos on July 24, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Another idiot

cmsinaz on July 24, 2015 at 12:24 PM

An Israeli who supports the deal.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4681951,00.html

Seth Halpern on July 24, 2015 at 12:22 PM

Sammy Davis Jr.?

VegasRick on July 24, 2015 at 12:24 PM

So, “Benedict Arnold” McCain voted for Corker bill? Way to “war hero,” backstabber!

kunegetikos on July 24, 2015 at 12:26 PM

Wonder what Kerry would look like in a hoodie?

Bmore on July 24, 2015 at 12:27 PM

I agree. Iran should be very frightened of Israel.

Walter L. Newton on July 24, 2015 at 12:28 PM

Israel doesn’t care what this administration thinks. I could be easily see Israel taking care of business knowing that this failed US administration is out of office in less than a year and a half.

This deal will only lead to more US involvement in a middle east war that will require tropps on the ground. How ironic that moveon is on board with that reality.

Ellis on July 24, 2015 at 12:31 PM

A whole administration of geniuses.

WryTrvllr on July 24, 2015 at 12:32 PM

My God….so this Iran Nuke Agreement nonsense is not at all about stupidity…it is all part of a planned designed purely malevolent policy.

Amin el-Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and friend of that paperhanger from Linz, is dancing in his coffin…along with every other author of the Final Solution.

coldwarrior on July 24, 2015 at 12:13 PM

Yep this is deliberate. It’s just hard for us to accept that a US President would purposely turn Israel into an enemy.

fossten on July 24, 2015 at 12:32 PM

And here I thought Hillary was the worst SecState in a long, long time…yet Lurch has managed to be even worse than her. You must really suck for a no-accomplishment placeholder who set the Middle East ablaze to have been a better SecState than you.

Aizen on July 24, 2015 at 12:33 PM

clement on July 24, 2015 at 12:18 PM

Miniaturization is way oversold.

Back in the early 90’s we had solid intel that North Korea was experimenting with slightly modified AN-2 Colt biplanes. Essentially ferrying around large concrete and steel cylinders loaded into the aircraft through access hatches cut into the bottom of the aircraft.

Extrapolation of data, info and intel from other sources, pretty much demonstrated that the NK air force could fly a bunch of these antiquated biplanes to any point within South Korea, and a huge swath of the west coast of Japan…under radar. Virtually undetectable at night. Albeit one way.

Now that Iran has access to global markets…you know, buying food abroad, selling Iranian trinkets abroad…sanctions regime ended…those wonderful inter-modal shipping containers make a great delivery system.

Miniaturization is necessary for top-end missile delivery systems. A plane, a truck, a boat…a camel caravan, even, still adequate to the task.

coldwarrior on July 24, 2015 at 12:35 PM

…Israel doesn’t have the ability to stop, nor do we, unless we went to all out war and literally annihilated Iran which I don’t are hear people talking about.

Dear John Kerry,

Please wage all out war and literally annihilate Iran.

Sincerely,
ROC

ROCnPhilly on July 24, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Obama and Kerry are evil.

Blake on July 24, 2015 at 12:39 PM

Personally I doubt Israel has the practical means to disable Iran’s nukes for more than a short time. And I agree that if the deal is rejected flat out, sanctions may still collapse since the Europeans will blame Congress and Israel for scrapping it and Obama will do nothing to restrain the Europeans.

So I’m inclined to hope Congress figures out a way to send Kerry back to renegotiate it, and let Iran do the scrapping if it comes to that.

Seth Halpern on July 24, 2015 at 12:39 PM

Really terrific speech by Allen West yesterday at that huge anti-nuke rally in NYC.

He actually calls 0bama ‘stupid’ :)

http://patterico.com/2015/07/22/10000-take-to-the-streets-to-protest-iran-deal/

(Apologies if this has already been posted)

WhirledPeas on July 24, 2015 at 12:40 PM

This is like saying Iran protecting itself against Israel proves Iran should have nukes is like someone protecting himself against intruders with a firearm is proof there needs to be fewer gun laws, which I’m sure the liberal gentleman and all his associates on the left means, right?

Not that we can stretch that analogy too far: I don’t think it’s in any world charter that there’s a need for a well regulated nuclear armed militia….

apostic on July 24, 2015 at 12:42 PM

Kerry is a LIAR

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran/Khamenei-propaganda-video-says-nuclear-deal-doesnt-ensure-Israels-security-409788

A video threatening that the safety of Israel will not be ensured despite the nuclear deal signed between world powers and Tehran last week was released on the official YouTube page of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollal Ali Khamenei this week.

dogsoldier on July 24, 2015 at 12:44 PM

Israel doesn’t have the ability to stop, nor do we, unless we went to all out war and literally annihilated Iran which I don’t are hear people talking about.

This is also false.

dogsoldier on July 24, 2015 at 12:45 PM

What a disgraceful thing to say. Smh.

MidAtlantic Moderate on July 24, 2015 at 12:47 PM

Unmentioned in this article is the fact that Kerry admitted that the US has obligated itself to defend Iran against military or covert action targeted against Iran’s nuclear program.

That means we have promised to attack Israel. And potentially, Saudi Arabia, who is also not enthralled with Iranian nukes.

Chew on that for a bit. Our President has sworn we will defend the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism from our best allies and we will attack the sole democracy in the ME if it messes with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Dolce Far Niente on July 24, 2015 at 12:50 PM

It is depressing that the some of the most powerful people in our government should probably be in a nursing home. Why are we allowing ourselves to be governed by dinosaurs?

jephthah on July 24, 2015 at 12:55 PM

O/T: Please, Hot Air, lift your news blackout on Ted Cruz’ withering, devastating takedown of Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor.

http://therightscoop.com/ted-cruz-slams-mcconnell-accuses-him-of-lying-on-senate-floor-says-he-cant-be-trusted-video/

Right Mover on July 24, 2015 at 12:57 PM

Alternate Headline:
“Kerry threatens that Iran will do exactly what they are doing now …”

Carnac on July 24, 2015 at 1:05 PM

“The fact is we will have for 15 years a restraint on Iran that absolutely prevents it from developing a weapon.

The guy doesn’t even speak like a real American. Mixing phrases into each other just sounds pompous and frankly, like he’s dissembling. Which he is.

Try this: “We will have a restraint on Iran for 15 years that absolutely …”

There Mr. I-Served-Etc., FIFY

Lance Corvette on July 24, 2015 at 1:08 PM

Come on people, this push is 10x the Barrycare push. This is how it is going to go…

HotAir Headlines

Some Thursday: ‘Iran Deal Doomed, says Pelosi’

Some Friday: ‘Rep Candidates slam the Mullah Deal. It is good as dead’

Some Saturday: ‘Republican leaders meet with White House to discuss saving at least part of the deal’

Some Sunday: ‘Majority Leader and Minority Leader hit at deal’

Some Monday: ‘Iran nuke deal passes by 2 votes’

Think not?

Limerick on July 24, 2015 at 1:08 PM

So basically what he said is that any attempt to restrain them from getting nukes justifies them getting nukes.

He must have learned that kind of logic from Kim Jong Un.

GrumpyOldFart on July 24, 2015 at 1:10 PM

And did Kerry explain why Israel should feel bound by a “deal” that they had no part in negotiating and have always objected to? Naively Israel may have believed that an ally wouldn’t stick a knife in their back.

katiejane on July 24, 2015 at 1:13 PM

The fact is we will have for 15 years a restraint on Iran that absolutely prevents it from developing a weapon

They would have inspections on a daily basis the in their facilities.

Both blatant lies.

Now, since Kerry has decided the “the former head of Shin Bet … the former head of Mossad.” trump the actual Leaders of Israel – he and Obama clearly don’t matter to the opinions of “other people” in America.

This fraud deal, lead by a Professional Grifter, should be ignored.

Odie1941 on July 24, 2015 at 1:26 PM

the Obama administration has become the lawyers lapdogs for the mullahs

fify

Marcola on July 24, 2015 at 1:29 PM

Let Lerch keep talking. Make the Democrats own this viewpoint, as the mask finally slips off.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on July 24, 2015 at 1:31 PM

Corker is a traitor.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2015 at 1:33 PM

Kerry is a despicable lying fool, but fits in well with the rest of Obama’s goons.

rplat on July 24, 2015 at 1:37 PM

WhirledPeas on July 24, 2015 at 12:40 PM

Yep, that was an awesome speech.
Allen West is excellent.
Listen to that speech and compare Allen West to Kerry and Obama.
We have potentially great leaders in this country who could lead us out of darkness, but the first necessary step is to recognize the enemy.
Everyone says that it is necessary for Obama to stop the denial and acknowledge Islamic terrorism, if we are to successfully fight them.

And to successfully stop the destruction of our country, it is a necessary first step to acknowledge our greatest enemy. And that is not Iran. Or ISIS. Or Russia or China. The greatest enemy and threat to the nation is the Left. They are the enemy within and are successfully rotting the nation from inside out.
And their greatest weapon is the Media.
The potential leaders of the country, such as Allen West, as well as the rest of us, must acknowledge that and begin the life or death battle for the Nation.

justltl on July 24, 2015 at 1:43 PM

Kerry: Any action by Israel would provide justification for Iran’s pursuit of nukes

Why not just come right out and say that ‘any action’ includes simply EXISTING?

Corker is a traitor.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2015 at 1:33 PM

98 reprobates voted to a) rewrite the Constitution to change the Senatorial process regarding ratification of international treaties, b) provide additional power and authority to the Chief Executive, and c) cede US sovereignty to the United Nations. Including all except one Republican. They are all lying traitors who violated their oaths of office.

Athos on July 24, 2015 at 1:45 PM

I think Israel needs to nuke D.C. That would solve many problems.

redguy on July 24, 2015 at 1:59 PM

The bully shows up on the playground with his toadies and threatens to beat up the short kid after school.

Short kid kicks him squarely in the balls, dropping him like a bad habit, and walks away.

In a sane world, the short kid would be commended for standing up for himself.

In today’s world, the short kid gets expelled.

As it is on the playground, so it is on the world stage.

CurtZHP on July 24, 2015 at 2:18 PM

Whenever I read or hear something Kerry has said or did, the first word that comes to mind is “moron!” The next word is “traitor.”

sadatoni on July 24, 2015 at 2:35 PM

Kerry: Any action by Israel would provide justification for Iran’s pursuit of nukes

John Kerry: Heads – Iran wins, Tails – Israel loses!

RJL on July 24, 2015 at 2:44 PM

When Obama and Kerry sell the US, Israel and others down the river they are achieving their goals.

leader4hru on July 24, 2015 at 2:53 PM

My God….so this Iran Nuke Agreement nonsense is not at all about stupidity…it is all part of a planned designed purely malevolent policy.

Amin el-Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and friend of that paperhanger from Linz, is dancing in his coffin…along with every other author of the Final Solution.

coldwarrior on July 24, 2015 at 12:13 PM

Yep this is deliberate. It’s just hard for us to accept that a US President would purposely turn Israel into an enemy.

fossten on July 24, 2015 at 12:32 PM

Israel has been put in a clove hitch. ANY move to defend themselves will be seen as “justification” for Iran to move aggressively forward. No one in the world can go to their aid now without it seeming hostile towards Iran, and the UN. In other words – this backs Israel into an absolute no-win situation.

GrandeMe on July 24, 2015 at 3:21 PM

Is it my imagination, or did he say that the reason Iran would feel the need to develop a nuclear weapon is to prevent their nuclear weapon development facilities from being destroyed? Because that’s what it sounds like.

calbear on July 24, 2015 at 3:38 PM

In doing so, Kerry managed to turn Israel into the aggressor

That’s not much of a trick…

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Not surprisingly, the Israelis object to this idea

And when they stop actively pursuing genocide against the palestinians I’ll care. Til then…

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 3:41 PM

It’s just hard for us to accept that a US President would purposely turn Israel into an enemy.

fossten on July 24, 2015 at 12:32 PM

They’ve always been one, you just have been fooling yourselves about it. How many thousands of times have they stabbed us in the back?

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 3:46 PM

Now, about those daily inspections……side agreement?

Techster64 on July 24, 2015 at 3:51 PM

as usual Daniel Larison has a thoughtful take.

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 3:55 PM

And when they stop actively pursuing genocide against the palestinians I’ll care.

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 3:41 PM

Evidence?

GrumpyOldFart on July 24, 2015 at 4:23 PM

The fact is we will have for 15 years a restraint on Iran that absolutely prevents it from developing a weapon. They can’t enrich beyond 3.67%. You can’t make a bomb at 3.67% they will have only 300 kilograms in a stockpile of enriched uranium. You can’t make a bomb with that.

Do these a$$holes know how to read? That is a lie! That is only fuel made IN IRAN. Not fuel made in RUSSIA FOR RUSSIAN ASSEMBLIES.

During the 15 year period, and as Iran gradually moves to meet international qualification standards for nuclear fuel produced in Iran, it will keep its uranium stockpile under 300 kg of up to 3.67% enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6) or the equivalent in other chemical forms. The excess quantities are to be sold based on international prices and delivered to the international buyer in return for natural uranium delivered to Iran, or are to be down-blended to natural uranium level. Enriched uranium in fabricated fuel assemblies from Russia or other sources for use in Iran’s nuclear reactors will not be counted against the above stated 300 kg UF6 stockpile, if the criteria set out in Annex I are met with regard to other sources.

How much UF6 will they get from Russia? They could make a bomb with the extra they get from our Reset allies. And guess what, the Nantz facility is Russian made.

Patriot Vet on July 24, 2015 at 4:38 PM

Israel doesn’t have the ability to stop, nor do we, unless we went to all out war and literally annihilated Iran which I don’t are hear people talking about.

Anyone who studies the Israeli Defense Forces knew that they’d find a solution to the Iranian nuclear problem that would entail new weaponry.

And they did!

On April 20, 2015, he Israelis carried out a beta test of the hypersonic, rocket-powered bunker buster called the high-velocity penetrating weapon (HVPW). As hardened targets got deeper, it was clear that explosive power would have a limit.

The HVPW uses kinetic energy as well as a new type of explosive, probably a variant of rocket fuel.

It’s clear that the Sunni Arabs funded it. Lots of little hits–Saudi airliner at Ben Gurion, Saudi Mercedes in Tel Aviv–that Israel and the Sunni Gulf States have formed an alliance.

This is a primary explosion. The debris towers went up well over 2000 feet. Also, the guy shooting the video was knocked down and his camera was broken from 1.5 miles away.

Israel is currently training to destroy Hezbollah, as is the new Arab League rapid-reaction force of 40,000 paratroopers.

Don’t kid yourself. Israel will demolish Iran’s nuclear program AND its offensive military capabilities.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 24, 2015 at 4:57 PM

And when they stop actively pursuing genocide against the palestinians I’ll care.

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 3:41 PM

Evidence?

GrumpyOldFart on July 24, 2015 at 4:23 PM

It’s called “Holocaust inversion.” Only Nazi sympathizers use it.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 24, 2015 at 4:59 PM

This of course is a real surprise to find out Hanoi Hilton’s star traitor is also an antisemite bigot. I feel sorry for any foreign officials that have to deal with this scumbag; the State Dept should provide free sanitizers.

russedav on July 24, 2015 at 5:18 PM

Evidence?

GrumpyOldFart on July 24, 2015 at 4:23 PM

You’re obviously ignoring it since it’s everywhere. Here’s one to get you started.

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/10/10/did-israel-commit-genocide-in-gaza/

Tlaloc on July 24, 2015 at 6:26 PM