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The Rosett Report

The Smile of Iran’s Chief Nuclear Negotiator

November 22nd, 2013 - 9:28 pm

If only it were as delightful to watch the Iran nuclear talks in Geneva as it apparently is to take part in them. Not since Rep. Nancy Pelosi told us we had to pass-the-bill-to-find-out-what’s-in-it have the news cameras captured such quivers of delight over things so huge and appalling. Politicians are of course prone to play to the cameras. But at the Geneva bargaining table, the ranks of smiles go on and on. On the world powers side (“world powers” being the shorthand for the P5+1, which is the shorthand for the U.S., UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) the chief smiler is European Union foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton, beaming across the table at the Iranian team, nodding and chatting with the expression of a fondly indulgent aunt handing out sweets to the kids.

But the smiler at these talks who most bears watching is Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. He arrives smiling at the negotiating venue. He tosses out cheery greetings as he walks toward the meeting room. At the bargaining table, he settles in with an affable smile, and in this video clip he moves on at one point to a guffaw — such fun, these nuclear talks!

Why is Zarif smiling? There is the obvious. Those world powers across the table are itching to hand Iran what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accurately described as the “deal of the century” — the ticket to the nuclear arsenal the Tehran regime covets, and for which the infrastructure would be left in place. So eager are some of these world powers to produce a signed piece of paper that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, for the second time in a month, decided to race to Geneva, ready to close the deal. Evidently it is no deterrent to the Obama administration that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — Zarif’s real boss — chose to punctuate rounds two and three of these nuclear talks by delivering a speech to Basij militiamen (who hailed him with chants of “Death to America”) in which he compared Israel to a “rabid dog,” said its officials “cannot be called human,” and added, “the Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation.”

Then there is the also-obvious. Talks like these are a great boon to rogue regimes — just ask North Korea (which has parlayed two decades of nuclear freeze deals into time and resources for three nuclear tests, and appears to be preparing its underground nuclear test site for a fourth detonation). Iran’s regime is a terror-sponsoring government under sanctions for its rogue nuclear weapons program, and in theory its rulers are being shunned and “isolated” — or so we’ve been told. But there in Geneva is Iran’s foreign minister, so completely un-isolated that in the diplomatic world he has become the celebrity of the hour, surrounded by envoys of the UN Security Council’s Permanent Five members plus Germany, all focused on what he has to say. Negotiations such as these, especially if they lead to a deal, serve as credentials, painting a veneer of legitimacy on regimes that deserve none (just ask North Korea).

And then there are the less obvious reasons why Zarif might be smiling. This is a man with a history that someone in his position today might well gloat over. He is intimately acquainted with the U.S.,  where he spent years as a student and served in various positions at Iran’s Mission to the UN in New York, including a stint from 2002-2007 as ambassador to the UN. During his time as ambassador, he charmed quite a number of American politicians and foreign-policy types, including then-Senators Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel. While he was doing that, however, he was also grossly abusing his diplomatic privileges by secretly directing a sanctions-violating multi-million dollar money-laundering operation out of Manhattan, to the benefit of the Iranian regime, and the enrichment, in particular, of Iran’s state-owned Bank Melli — which has been blacklisted by Treasury for its links to Iran’s missile and nuclear programs, as well as its banking services to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. So say the court documents of the Alavi  case — for details on that, here’s a link to my article in The Weekly Standard on “Iran’s Chief Negotiator.”

Whether Zarif, while ensconced at the Geneva bargaining table, is giving any conscious thought whatsoever to his years of snookering U.S. law enforcement officials in the heart of Manhattan, who knows? By now, those years as envoy to the UN may be the furthest thing from his mind. Nonetheless, his years of successful double-dealing in New York are part of the context in which he arrives at the bargaining table — with that smile. It’s an expression that seems to conjure great delight among his world-power interlocutors. It shouldn’t.

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All Comments   (12)
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This is very good.
There's another way to put the Geneva charade into perspective, via a different route. A 'Where's the EU Waldo?' hunt coughs up Catherine Ashton, grinning widely and widely ignored as always. Not clear how she got invited or why, as always. But oh the photo-ops...

Ms Rosett was no doubt constrained by space and urgency. Enquiring minds will want to know that the Baroness Ashton of Upholland (really Wigan, as in The Road to Wigan Pier), never elected to anything, is an anger-driven British fraud, a cipher with one paper qualification -- a bachelor's degree in sociology -- who was once memorably described as having the character and charisma of a caravan site (Briddish for trailer park).

She has, however, accumulated a Ruritanian list of gaudy titles and awards to slap on the resume, from leader of the house of lords to recognition for her 'impact' on the LGBT 'community'. The most recent sighting is as 'High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy', a sweet bureaucratic non-job at the right hand of heart-pounding global heavyweight H. van Rompuy -- which ought to tell you all you need to know. Oh, and the job pays well over $500k p.a. Nice hotels, first-class travel, good food, big pension, the usual, all funded by the 'austerity' programs that are the mother's milk of EU socialists.

She's the best BS and barf alert on earth, better even than Sharpton and von Rompuy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Who has the pools?
First, will Iran actually nuke some one, simply threaten to or publicly test their nuke?
Second, if "nuke some one," who will it be?
Third, starting Monday, 11/25, how many weeks will this event take?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Looking at Kerry, I can't help but shake my head in amazement that someone would be so smugly self-satisfied at knowingly bringing the world a lot closer to nuclear war.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's possible that he doesn't know it. He is willfully blind to the consequences of his actions. (Just as evil as knowingly doing it--or perhaps more so.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It appears that it is up to the France-Israel-Saudi Arabia alliance to save the world from the nightmare of a nuclear Iran.......good luck to them, and Godspeed.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Our treasonous, sycophantic, buffoonish media will simply mirror and regurgitate what our treasonous, buffoonish SecState tells them....and we wonder why we are in this position? We are being lied to on a daily basis by a neo-communist media estate which is nothing more than the propaganda arm of the current regime. How weak, pathetic and impotent we must appear to our enemies.....some way, some how, we HAVE to get rid of Boehner and select a Speaker of the House who will support the conservatives fighting on our behalf; I fear that is our only chance to survive the hostile takeover currently underway...Old Yellowstain has been compromised and will not do what is necessary. He's gotta go....quickly. If the Iranians are happy, it can only be because we caved and gave them everything they wanted...including leaving Israel hanging out to dry. I'm afraid to ask how much worse it can get...I don't want to know the answer.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The larger issue for us...is that Kerry once again is willing to be a turncoat to this nation. The will of the people and our self-governance through a representative structure, replete with checks and balances...installed with the intent...to prevent the seizure of power and the tyranny of a dictator...is now a distant memory.

Not fondly recalled, but serially ignored.

Our Supreme Court is now packed with traitors to the Constitution.

Our State Department, our DOJ, our Department of Defense, our Energy Department, our UN team, our NSA, our IRS...no longer exist to preserve our freedoms...but to steal them. They do not represent our will, but oppose it.

They do not stand with allies...but rather, with enemies.

Our will is of no consequence. We live under the thumb of seized power. Let us face the facts. We no longer have a self-governing, representative government. We are being ruled by traitors to the Constitution. They have ALWAYS been traitors, throughout their lives...so we should not act surprised that they are traitors now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'd forgotten about that Commie agent Kerry- what we didn't get in 2004, we got in 2008. OMG.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
With the effects of sanctions finally beginning to hurt enough to bring Iran to the table, against all odds, the last thing we should be doing is offering to relax them in any way. The bipartisan Senate effort to impose even harsher sanctions is the right course.

If the Iranians want to talk, they should be making concessions JUST TO GET US TO THE TABLE. Yet these pathetic weasels appear to be willing to give them relief for promises to be fulfilled later. It is insane.

The incompetence and lack of seriousness of Obama - and Kerry - seems to know no bounds.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We can only hope it is incompetence, and not something worse.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All I can say that if these idiots give Iran all that it wants they are total fools. A sucker us born every minute. THe Iranians simply run circles around our State Dept. w/o even trying. A bunch of monkeys would be far better & safer to run state than these boneheads.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They truly are embarrassing aren't they? I could pick a dozen contributors to this website and represent our nation's interests more effectively than this conglomeration of queers, lesbians, and America-hating communist "diplomats". Pitiful...No wonder the bad guys around the world just laugh at us.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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