In November 1979, fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were taken hostage after the US Embassy in Tehran was stormed.
Kazmir said that he will never forget seeing the crisis unfold and he said that the impression it left on him was “earth-shattering”. He said: “I learned then that Iran is a menace that can never and should never be trusted.” This is what was going through his thoughts when the 2015 nuclear deal was being finalised.
He pointed out that the Iranian regime, as usual, was a master of deception during the negotiations of the agreement and said that he was “horrified – though not surprised – to learn about how much of the details surrounding the deal were a lie”.
As a result of the nuclear deal, Iran was to receive hundreds of billions of dollars. This effectively took away any leverage the United States had gained through sanctions. At that time, the Iranian economy was extremely fragile and was very close to financial collapse. It has been said that President Hassan Rouhani had been told by advisors that Iran may run short of hard currency if he was unable to get access to funds that the US had frozen through sanctions.
Some say that US officials know that the Iranian financial system was so close to failing. If this is true, then the Obama administration missed such a huge opportunity.
Kazmir said that there was no need to give in to all of the regime’s demands because Iran had no leverage whatsoever. However, the US ended up bailing it out anyway, despite the fact that the Iranian regime cannot be trusted, and has proven this time and time again.
Why did the United States put its trust in a country that has continued to carry out ballistic missile tests? The other countries involved in the agreement also let the deal be signed.
After the recent United Nations General Assembly, even French President Emmanuel Macron admitted that the agreement is not enough. He made it clear that he agrees that additional action should be taken faced with Iran’s belligerence, in particular its increased ballistic activity and involvement in Syria. He said: “We need a clear framework to be able to reassure regional countries and the United States.”
Like Macron, Kazmir believes that the United States should not walk away from the deal, but the terms must be renegotiated.
He said: “(…) if we aren’t going to enforce treaties, then we might as well not even bother with them at all. And an emboldened, nuclear Iran would cause incredible world chaos and be bad for everybody, which is why we should not be the only country to stepping up to stop it from happening.”
He added that whatever happens next, at least President Trump has made it clear that he will not tolerate Iran’s belligerence.