The news this week that Rand Paul has committed himself as a mediator between President Trump and Iran is a testament to a strategy shift that the terrorist's biggest sponsor, along with former Obama officials, has undertaken in the hope of disaster to save the previous government's nuclear agreement.
During the Obama administration, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif played John Kerry as a fiddle in negotiating an agreement that allowed the stalled regime hundreds of billions of dollars in cash and sanctions to help them develop ballistics Missiles, which did nothing to fight human rights, helped Iran become a more damaging conventional threat and at the same time enabled Iran to maintain a long-term gliding path towards nuclear weapons. A series of lies and smears from critics made by various academics and memorial factories were written back and then dutifully reported by favorable media. "We've created an echo chamber," said Obama adviser Ben Rhodes to the New York Times about the collection of so-called experts who are conducting administrative talks with gullible media. "They said things that confirmed what we had said to them."
Originally, Iran and former officials of the Obama administration revitalized the echo chamber – telling stories about the catastrophic consequences of withdrawing from the agreement and working with European allies in the hope of getting sympathetic Trump representatives to lead the president convince them to preserve the agreement in some cases way.
That's why you had met Kerry several times with Zarif since leaving office. They performed a desperate Shadow Diplomacy game in which they met with European leaders and asked Trump from French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron to maintain the deal in exchange for sham cosmetic changes.
Even after Trump's resignation, there was some hope among the proponents of the agreement that they could essentially wait for Trump to keep him warm enough in the hope that the next Democratic president might revive him. The Trump administration has at times satisfied this hope by failing to comply with the "maximum pressure" through various exceptions to the sanctions. However, the Trump Administration has consistently lifted exemptions and imposed sanctions. While there are still some important exemptions, such as civilian-nuclear cooperation, there is a growing trend that Iran has clearly lost faith in putting Trump under pressure through the old tactics.
In recent months, we have done this. I've seen a lot of change and evidence that Iran and its US-based allies are trying to bring libertarians and anti-interventionist rights to justice, hoping that they are more likely to influence Trump.
We saw this in the news that George Soros teamed with Charles Koch to found a think tank, the Quincy Institute, co-founded by Trita Parsi and one of the leading supporters of the Iran deal from his post on the The roof was the National Iranian American Council.
Although Trump would never pay attention to the advice of Kerry or Obama's echo chamber, he listens to friends and allies who are more receptive to the Iranian embassy, such as Paul and Fox Tucker Carlson, as he reportedly did he airstrikes broke off against Iran.
Trump's eclectic foreign policy essentially fuses in his unique way competing sentiments that exist on the right side – support for a muscular America on the one hand and an aversion to lengthy wars on a large scale in the face of Iraq's mistakes. In this way, you get John Bolton as a National Security Advisor on the one hand, and areas of agreement with Paul on the other hand. So we get both bombastic taunts from Kim Jong Un as well as handshakes with and defense from him.
Now it is one thing to speak out against a potentially long and costly war with Iran. As I noted then, Trump's explanation of why he had decided against the air strikes seemed perfectly reasonable (though the timing and the question of how far they had attacked since I wrote it have become duller). So I actually get where Carlson and Paul come from because they are afraid of another important intervention.
However, there is a danger of underestimating the seriousness of the Iranian threat and overestimating the serious chances of a peace agreement.
Carlson said after Trump's decision against air strikes, "Why do you think John Bolton is so fixated on overthrowing the Iranian government, which does not seem to be a threat to the United States?" It is one thing to argue that the risk of a global war is greater than the current threat from Iran, but no threat to us at all? The Iranian regime has been a leading US enemy for forty years since taking over the US embassy in Tehran and taking over 52 American diplomats and civilians for more than a year. It has sponsored decades of attacks on Americans and our allies while its leaders preside songs of "Death to America." The State Department states in its recent report that "Iran has remained the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism." In recent months, Iran has attacked oil tankers, shot down an American drone threatening to disrupt supplies through the Strait of Hormuz, confiscated a foreign tanker, and increased its nuclear program.
But Paul is in exactly the same trap as Kerry, assuming he could work with Zarif to make peace.
Politico said Wednesday: "Paul suggested that he meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to extend a fresh olive branch on behalf of the president with the aim of reducing tensions between the two countries Trump signs off on the idea . "
Trump, in turn, denied having appointed Paul as a kind of informal envoy, even though he admitted to having heard and respected Paul.
However, the mere prospect of Paul acting as Iran's envoy was applauded by Obama officials seeking to preserve the deal, as well as libertarians and Paul's allies seeking to bolster his reputation welcomed.
Wendy Sherman, one of the architects of the Iranian Nuclear Accord, told NBC's Andrea Mitchell "There is a huge struggle going on within the administration, I think John Bolton or his allies have leaked the fact that Rand Paul could seek out Foreign Minister Zarif to outsmart diplomacy, I believe a senator can do whatever a senator wants. "Her defense of the senator's freedom to pursue foreign policy met with great interest among those who responded to An outraged response from the Obama administration recalled when 47 Senators under the leadership of Senator Tom Cotton published an open letter to the Iranian regime stating that any agreement not ratified by Congress was possible by a future president defeated with a stroke of the pen.
Former Paul associate and co-author Jack Hunter wrote as an outside associate for the Washington Examiner and absurdly portrayed his former boss as the most important person standing between the US and the war against Iran stands. In Liberal Reason Scott Shackford praised Paul's report as a possible link as "good news for peace."
The Iranian economy suffers from the crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump government, and they are desperate for any kind of relief, which is why Zarif is in New York this week, meeting with his US allies and members Congress, which may include Paul or not. He's making a mini-deal to get Trump to lift the sanctions.
Perhaps Zarif seems to recalibrate his message under the guidance of some of his American allies. He appealed to Trump, praising his "wisdom" for stopping the air strikes and trying to speak the language of anti-intervention rights.
"I think the conditions are tight, so we have to do much more to avoid them A situation that gets lost No one wins in a war," he told the National Interest . He later added to Trump, "He certainly does not want a war, he's not ideologically committed to war-others are, so I think he has to pursue his own agenda, not the agendas of other peoples."
This is in keeping with Paul and his ally's narrative that neoconservatives are trying to overthrow Trump for his better instincts.
Zarif is a smart diplomat who has crafted the radical Iranian regime to give the West a public face while pursuing its anti-American terror agenda. This is the standard procedure for Iran – escalate the tensions and then try to win concessions in exchange for withdrawing.
Zarif was able to persuade Kerry to become a sweetheart, and now he clearly believes he has a slight touch in Rand Paul.