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So which is it: Should we trust Iran or not?
John Kerry is the biggest proponent of the nuclear deal with Iran. We can believe that country to abide by its provisions, he says.
Yet when Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Kerry had revealed to him the fact that Israel had conducted 200 airstrikes in Syria, the Biden official bristled. Zarif was lying.
“I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false,” Kerry said in a statement. “This never happened when I was secretary of state or since.”
To be sure, the likeliest scenario remains that John Forbes Kerry is guilty of doing exactly what Zarif claims he did. But let’s engage in a little thought experiment: Let’s say Zarif made the whole thing up and the underlying leaked recording was part of a cynical Islamic Republic disinformation operation to create more “daylight” between two of Tehran’s greatest adversaries, the “Big Satan” of America and the “Little Satan” of Israel.
In this hypothetical scenario, it is not Kerry who is the bald-faced liar — it is Zarif. But in that case, why in the world is Team Biden currently prostrating itself in Vienna before the world’s No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism, with Zarif himself as that No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism’s leading diplomat, in the quixotic hopes of securing a “longer and stronger” nuclear deal?
As a matter of pure logic, that is sheer lunacy. The 2015 nuclear deal was a house of cards built on the myriad lies of the Iranian regime and its henchmen. Those lies were downplayed and willfully ignored by Team Obama’s zealous ideologues. And if Zarif is willing to lie as part of a crudely calculated disinformation operation, why in the world — other than genuinely malicious, fifth-column intentions — would American diplomats trust him with securing a new nuclear accord?
President Biden, you have to choose. Either Iran officials are truthful, and Kerry is awful and needs to go. Or Iranian officials are liars, in which case, there should be no deal.
Josh Hammer is Newsweek opinion editor and a research fellow with the Edmund Burke Foundation.