The U.S.-Iran nuclear deal brokered by the husband of Heinz Ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz is the talk of the town in Washington, D.C. and everywhere else, including every event Donald Trump and the other 2016 presidential candidates are attending and hosting this week. But one could turn back the clock to the Jimmy Carter administration and find striking parallels.
At issue isn’t just the concerns about how America is now negotiating with terrorists (or paying ransoms to them); it isn’t just about how we are essentially funding any future nuclear actions by them (by unfreezing their $100 billion in assets), and it isn’t just about the fact that we only managed to free four Americans compared to the seven freed of their Iranians (truly an unequal “swap”).
This issue is also about the fact that 14 other Iranians being sought be the U.S. will now be free to re-enter and wreak havoc on our country and others as a result of the trade negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry (thanks to another portion of the agreement, which takes those 14 Iranians off the watch list internationally we had originally placed them on–and releases them from future liability over past grievances). And, this situation is also about the fact made so clear by Donald Trump: that this was a really bad deal when it comes to negotiations of any kind, and it took way longer than it should have to be brokered.
First of all, it should have taken place three or four weeks ago, whenever the hell they started. Did you ever see an agreement take so long as this agreement? How long has this thing been going on? Years and years,” Trump said on Sunday, January 16.–CBS News
Back in 1979, when the Iran Hostage Crisis unfolded under the Carter administration, it took a total of 444 days of captivity before the more than 60 American hostages were altogether freed who had been taken from an American Embassy in Tehran.
Just as then, the current hostages are seen as Americans who should not have been taken, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stating:
These prisoners were held unjustly by a regime that continues to threaten the peace and security of the Middle East,” Clinton said.–USA Today via MSN News.
In 1979, during that hostage situation, Iran was faced with sanctions and wanted to get out of them, so the hostage situation was their ticket out. Ditto for this year, as the Secretary of State John Kerry gave Iran forewarning that sanctions were coming whilst he was in the midst of negotiating with them on a prisoner swap. Since history repeats itself, it was not prudent of the American leader to have not considered Iran’s past history in regards to hostages or prisoners.
The day before the Obama administration was due to slap new sanctions on Iran late last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry the move could derail a prisoner deal…” – CNBC News.
Donald Trump sees Iran as besting Kerry and Obama on a deal that he would never have made–7 prisoners for 4, as well as $100 billion to boot. And, in addition to that, the freedom of 14 more Iranians to come and go as they please, when they were already a threat to national security. Turn back the clock and Ronald Reagan was the one chastising then-President Jimmy Carter for being too soft with the Iranians. Back then it was the threat of Ronald Regan and his promise of military action that inevitably turned the tide in the Americans’ favor when it came to getting back the hostages, which were freed as Ronald Reagan was sworn into office. Might Donald Trump have had that impact in this situation in a year?
Hillary Clinton is also upset that there are those who think Iran should be applauded for giving up men they should never had taken in the first place. And Florida Senator Marco Rubio thinks that all this has done is now create a climate of “incentivising the detention of Americans” by Iran,” according to AFP.
It tells us all we need to know about the Iranian regime, that they take people hostage in order to gain concessions and the fact that they can get away with it with this administration,” Rubio said.
For those who lived during 1979, when Iran took 60 American hostages and used them in a power play with Washington during President Jimmy Carter’s administration, the recent hostage trade must feel like deju vue to them, hearing of Kerry pleading and negotiating with no success until the Iranians learned of a threat being made regarding more sanctions from American congressmen. Back then Carter’s approach was to be diplomatic, like today’s Kerry, walking a fine line to say and do whatever it would take to get Americans brought back home.
But it was not Carter who saved the day back then and secured the freedom of the Americans held captive for 444 days in the Iran Hostage Crisis; it was the threat of a Ronald Reagan presidency that really did it–that and the payment of $8 billion dollars (the unfreezing of Iran assets by Jimmy Carter as he left office).
Incidentally, even after Carter tried to negotiate with Iran about the hostages release, even going so far as to agree to their demand there be no more sanctions, Iran’s leaders then upped their game, demanding even more, insisting Carter not even make any hostile comments publicly, which he also agreed to. But that did not secure the prisoners’ release either, as, in the end, it was all about money. And that money price tag for hostage release in Iran has jumped from $8 billion in 1979 to $100 billion in 2016.
The 2016 Iranian nuclear deal was brokered by men in the White House who did not consider the hostage history of Iran with the United States and how they barter lives for money or they would realize that Rubio, Clinton and Trump are all correct that paying ransom (unfreezing assets) sends a message to such regimes that taking Americans as hostages will pay off in the end. It already has–twice, once in 1979 and now in 2016.
Even more importantly, when the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal was brokered with the hostages in mind, it was unfairly settled when you think about what Iran received on their end versus what America received, as there are still Americans, like the missing former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who should have been included in that prisoner exchange but were not. Thus, Levinson’s family was failed by this administration’s negotiations.
And releasing $100 billion back to Iran had nothing to do with prisoner swaps, so it should have not been part of the agreement, but it has everything to do with funding more potential terrorist acts or nuclear threats by Iran. And that makes it a very poor deal indeed for the men and women in our military who will now be fighting such a well-funded adversary. And they will have the White House and this administration to thank for that.