The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) condemns U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for reassuring Iran in a December 19 letter that sanctions will be lifted – while ignoring Iran’s grievous violations of the Iran deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), and for reassuring Iran that the Obama administration will waive and interfere with the visa requirements recently enacted by Congress to try to protect American citizens’ safety. It is also alarming that Iran states that Kerry’s letter affirms that the U.S. administration is fully commitment to completely terminating the sanctions on Iran – belying the administration’s claims to the American people that sanctions would only be “suspended” and could be snapped back.
The Obama administration and Secretary Kerry’s letter to Iran completely ignore Iran’s rampant violations of the Iran deal. Western intelligence officials state that Iran has not met its deal obligations, including those due on December 15, to dismantle two-thirds of its active centrifuges (Iran has far more than the permitted 6,000 centrifuges still operating); has not reduced its stockpiles of 3.6% enriched uranium 7,000kg to 300kg; has not made required engineering changes to its Arak plutonium reactor to prevent it from being capable of producing military-grade plutonium for nuclear weapons; has not allowed the continuous presence of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors; violated its obligation to give the IAEA a full report on the military aspects of its pre-deal nuclear program; and violated the ban on carrying out ballistic missile tests. In November, Iran tested a missile capable of reaching Israel. In addition, IAEA inspectors revealed that Iran likely engaged in nuclear military development for longer than previously believed.
Secretary Kerry’s letter also reassures Iran that the administration will use waivers and other executive tools to thwart the recently passed budget bill’s visa waiver program requirements for more vigorous security checks on persons who have traveled to certain terrorist training areas and state sponsors of terrorism including Iran. The administration’s waiver of Congressional requirements threatens the safety of American citizens: Iran has sponsored and planned attacks on U.S. soil. A U.S. federal court found that Iran was complicit in planning, funding, training, and making travel arrangements for the terrorists involved in the 9-11 attacks. Among other things, Iran arranged visas for the 9-11 terrorists! It is dangerous and shameful that the administration will waive visa requirements on persons who have traveled to Iran. Iran and the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps also plotted an attack on the Saudi Arabian ambassador at a Georgetown, Washington DC restaurant – which would have killed and maimed American restaurant patrons.
The Tehran Times confirmed Iran’s receipt of a letter from Kerry “promising to nullify” the Congressional visa requirements, and quoted Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman’s statement that “Kerry has underlined in his letter that the U.S. is fully committed to the termination of the sanctions based on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and its undertakings based on the agreements in the JCPOA.”
The pro-Iranian regime group NIAC stated that it obtained and published an English language version of Secretary Kerry’s letter to Iran’s foreign minister (reprinted below):
“December 19, 2015
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Zarif
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Tehran
Dear Mr. Minister:
Thanks for a constructive meeting yesterday. I wanted to get back to you in response to your inquiry about amendments to our Visa Waiver Program. First, I want to confirm to you that we remain fully committed to the sanctions lifting provided for under the JCPOA. We will adhere to the full measure of our commitments, per the agreement. Our team is working hard to be prepared and as soon as we reach implementation day we will lift appropriate sanctions.
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 JCPOA commitments, and that we will implement them so as not to interfere with legitimate business interests of Iran. To this end, we have a number of potential tools available to us, including multiple entry ten-year business visas, programs for expediting business visas, and the waiver authority provided under the new legislation. I am happy to discuss this further and provide any additional clarification.
Secretary of State John Kerry”