Former Sen. Kirk: Trump Should ‘Declassify’ Entire Iran Deal
WASHINGTON – Former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said the Trump administration should “declassify” the entire Iran nuclear deal and “close the loophole” that allowed the Obama administration to directly pay Iran $1.7 billion without congressional approval.
“The best thing the Trump administration can do is declassify the entire agreement and publish it so the Congress and the American people can look at it and see the negotiating record and understand all of the terms as they were put forward before the parties,” Kirk said during a United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) Capitol Hill briefing on Thursday about the future of Iran policy.
“The [Obama] administration used a loophole in U.S. law using the settlements fund, whereby the executive could settle lawsuits against the United States basically without a need for appropriation by the Congress – that’s where all the ransom money came from. That loophole should be closed. I don’t see President Trump ever paying ransom so I don’t think there’s a danger of Congress using their power there,” he added.
Kirk also encouraged the United States to work with Saudi Arabia to combat the Iran regime’s actions such as sponsoring terrorism. He said the Saudis would jump at any chance to “screw” the Iran regime after its plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C.
Kirk told PJM that Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who served as the Saudi Ambassador to the United States from 2007 to 2015, personally told him the plot was supposed to take place at Café Milano, a restaurant in Georgetown, with the help of a Mexican drug cartel.
Kirk recalled al-Jubeir saying the Iranians targeted that restaurant because they found out his hobby was cooking and that he used to do volunteer work there.
“That story reminded me that the Saudis would probably do almost anything to screw the Iranians, that we have a very, very good ally there to be able to adjust production to undercut the Iranian position in the oil market,” Kirk said.
PJM asked Kirk how he initially found out about the plot.
“That came about when the FBI surprisingly released the transcript of an Iranian intelligence agency planning to kill al-Jubeir. I was really surprised that stuff became unclassified, and because it was unclassified I asked al-Jubeir about it. I said, ‘So where do they want to kill you?’ He said, ‘Café Milano,’ so as a Georgetowner I felt personal about that,” the former senator said. “It was Iranians to the Zetas in Mexico, and talking to the Mexicans probably improved our ability to monitor what was being discussed.”
PJM also asked Kirk if Trump would be able to stop Iran if the Kremlin lobbies Washington officials on behalf of their allies in Tehran.