On the second night of the virtual Democratic convention, the former secretary of state John Kerry gave a speech touting the supposed foreign-policy accomplishments of the Obama administration. In his remarks, the one-time Massachusetts senator made clear that he still maintains the beliefs about the Middle East—especially those involving the nuclear deal with Iran—that informed his diplomatic career, and that have been proved so damaging to regional order, to the lives of millions of people who live there, and to American prestige. David Harsanyi comments:
Kerry himself acknowledged [during his tenure] that sanctions relief would likely end up in the coffers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard—now a designated terror group. Surely, then, he knew that the pallets of euros and Swiss francs he was shipping to Tehran in an unmarked cargo plane would also find their way to the groups triggering conflicts across the Middle East—not to mention subjugating people at home. [All the while], Kerry was placating Russia and allowing a humanitarian disaster to unfold in Syria in an effort to save the [nuclear] deal with Iran.
Obama-administration officials—led by Kerry—long peddled this false choice: the Iran deal or war. Well, the U.S. is no longer a party to the Iran deal, and there is no war. Meanwhile, there is a highly weakened Iran, and there are growing alliances between our Sunni allies and Israel.
Kerry would continue to entertain Iranian officials even after he was out of government. When President Trump ordered the drone strike that killed the terrorist Qassem Suleimani, a man who masterminded the killing of American soldiers and thousands of Iraqi civilians, Kerry said the world was in “no way at all” safer, and claimed that Trump was risking an “outright war.” All Iran did was launch a performative counterstrike.
Kerry was wrong about Iran. Kerry was also wrong about Israel—a nation he doesn’t ever seem to consider an “ally” in his speeches about Obama’s alleged foreign-policy successes. And when the U.S. embassy was about to be moved to Jerusalem, Kerry warned it would lead to “an explosion” in the Middle East—more specifically, “an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region.” Moreover, Kerry declared, it would have a serious and negative repercussions on relations between Israel and the Arab world, making peace far less likely. . . . Of course, outside of some typical Palestinian noise, the opposite has happened.