National Security Adviser O’Brien Slams Kerry’s Praise of Iran Deal

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• August 21, 2020 1:00 pm


In a rebuke to former secretary of state John Kerry, national security adviser Robert O’Brien on Thursday slammed the Iran deal as the worst agreement since the 1938 Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany.

"John Kerry and the JCPOA gave Iran $150 billion in sanctions relief. That was the Obama-Biden administration," O'Brien told Fox News host Martha MacCallum.

"Iran spent that money not on its own people, not to build a middle class in Iran," O'Brien said. "They spent it on terrorist activities in Lebanon, and Syria, and Iraq, in Yemen, so the JCPOA was no great deal. In fact, it was the worst diplomatic deal since the Munich appeasement in 1938."

O’Brien's comments were aimed at a speech made by Kerry at the Democratic National Convention earlier this week, which pushed false narratives about the Obama administration’s record in the Middle East. Kerry’s speech congratulated the Obama administration for taking the fight to ISIS and sported the Iran deal, officially the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as a success story.

"John Kerry always has and always will live inside an alternate universe that exists only in his mind," Richard Goldberg, a former White House National Security Council member who now advises the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, told the Washington Free Beacon.

"We had a name for their ultimate embrace of murderous dictators and abandonment of our closest allies: the Iran nuclear deal.  The contrast today is amazing: Kerry's legacy was a short-term extortion payoff to a state sponsor of terrorism; Trump's legacy is brokering Middle East peace," he added.

The 1938 Munich Agreement is a much-cited example of the harms of appeasing dictators in foreign policy. The agreement represented an attempt by European powers to placate Nazi Germany by allowing Adolf Hitler to annex territory in Czechoslovakia.

The agreement "has haunted western policymakers and intellectuals ever since," author Robert Kaplan wrote in 2007. "The fear of not stopping a tyrant in his tracks—before it is too late—has been particularly acute in America, weighed down as it is by the responsibilities of a great power."

Efforts to extend the arms embargo at the United Nations failed last week, prompting Washington to authorize tough snapback sanctions on Iran. In recent months, Tehran has violated international law and treaty alike as it builds advanced missile systems, coordinates operations with the Taliban, and threatens freedom of navigation at sea.