It seems like only yesterday that the Washington Post was calling the Obama administration weak in their dealings with Iran. (Oh, wait… it actually was yesterday.) But the empire had a chance to strike back when Iran complained about new visa waiver restrictions included in recently passed legislation. Those rules included cutting off visa waivers for people who had recently been in dangerous countries… including Iran. Thankfully, their recent provocations gave Kerry the ideal opportunity to face them down and let them know in no uncertain terms that we weren’t going to be putting up with their nonsense or making exceptions to the rules just for them.
Naw… I’m just kidding. He folded like a cheap suit. (Fox News)
Top Tehran officials, however, complained the changes violate the terms of the nuclear deal, which says the U.S. and other world powers will refrain from any policy intended to adversely affect normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.
Kerry responded to these concerns in a to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif — and suggested the administration could simply bypass the rules for Iran.
“I am also confident that the recent changes in visa requirements passed in Congress, which the Administration has the authority to waive, will not in any way prevent us from meeting our [nuclear deal] commitments, and that we will implement them so as not to interfere with legitimate business interests of Iran,” he said.
Kerry goes on to assure the Iranians that the White House has, “a number of potential tools available to us.” These include multiple entry business visas good for ten years and, of course, the back door built into the reform legislation which gives the Secretary of State the right to simply wave the visa requirements on his own authority if he finds that such a move is in the “law enforcement or national security interests of the United States.”
Some of the Republicans on the Hill fired back, but they don’t seem to have any leverage in the matter.
“Instead of bending over backwards to try to placate the Iranian regime, the White House needs to be holding it accountable for its recent missile tests, its continued support for terrorism, and its wrongful imprisonment of Americans,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said in a statement to FoxNews.com.
What exactly is it going to take before this administration begins standing up to Tehran? Are the Iranians going to have to put some Americans in cages and burn them alive in the fashion of ISIS? With these latest developments I think we’re seeing the next set of consequences from the Iran nuclear deal which so many conservatives warned of but which were shrugged off by the Obama administration as partisan rhetoric. Once the deal was in place, the White House would be so desperate to keep it intact that they would go to great lengths to avoid having to admit that it was a completely failed negotiation. As it turns out, it now looks like we’ll begin conceding on virtually every point of contention. Iran knows that they can pull out of this at any time they like and, frankly, they probably had no intention of honoring it in the first place. They have essentially nothing to lose except the lifting of some sanctions which they’ve survived quite nicely up to this time anyway. But the United States put their foreign policy credibility on the line by driving this through. Iran knows that Obama and Kerry will be loathe to lose this “victory” and that they can probably get away with bloody murder (in some cases literally) while holding it over our heads.
Today it’s a demand to have free visa waiver access. Yesterday it was ballistic missile launches. One can only imagine what will be on the menu tomorrow.