Devastating revelation from Mitch Ginsburg and the Times of Israel:
Mojtaba Atarodi, arrested in California for attempting to acquire equipment for Iran’s military-nuclear programs, was released in April as part of back channel talks, Times of Israel told. The contacts, mediated in Oman for years by close colleague of the Sultan, have seen a series of US-Iran prisoner releases, and there may be more to come.
American and Iranian officials have been meeting secretly in Oman on and off for years, according to a respected Israeli intelligence analyst, Ronen Solomon. And in the past three years as a consequence of those talks, Iran released three American prisoners, all via Oman, and the US responded in kind. Then, most critically, in April, when the back channel was reactivated in advance of the Geneva P5+1 meetings, the US released a fourth Iranian prisoner, high-ranking Iranian scientist Atarodi, who was arrested in California on charges that remain sealed but relate to his attempt to acquire what are known as dual-use technologies, or equipment that could be used for Iran’s military-nuclear programs. Iran has not reciprocated for that latest release.
Solomon, an independent intelligence analyst (who in 2009 revealed the crucial role played by German Federal Intelligence Service officer Gerhard Conrad in the negotiations that led to the 2011 Gilad Shalit Israel-Hamas prisoner deal), has been following the US-Iran meetings in Oman for years. Detailing what he termed the “unwritten prisoner exchange deals” agreed over the years in Oman by the US and Iran, Solomon told The Times of Israel that “It’s clear what the Iranians got” with the release of top scientist Atarodi in April. “What’s unclear is what the US got.”
I’d say it’s pretty clear what we got, but it involves imagery inappropriate even to this blog.
Now you just watch as Capitol Hill Democrats acquiesce to this rotten deal regardless:
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), for instance, has emerged as the leading Democratic critic in the upper chamber, warning that the agreement “legitimizes” Iran’s nuclear program and sets the stage for Iran to reap billions of dollars in financial relief it could use to bolster its stock of conventional weapons.
But Menendez has stopped short of saying he’ll join Republicans in a vote to disapprove the deal, saying he wants first to examine the agreement more closely, both on the Foreign Relations panel and in briefings with administration officials.
“It’s premature for some people to say they’re definitely against it and for others to say they’re definitely for it,” he said. “Let’s have the vetting.”
Menendez has been Obama’s toughest critique on Iran, and even he already has one foot on board — so you can kiss any hopes of a veto-proof majority goodbye.
And say hello to the Great Middle East Nuclear Arms Race.