There should be no doubt the biggest advocate on behalf of Iran’s mullahs for almost eight years now has been President Barack Obama.
While initially donning the armor of one who would do battle to ensure the Iranians never acquired nuclear weapons, Obama quickly removed that armor to get in bed with the mullahs. The nuclear agreement he concluded with Tehran last year says it all. Under it, the mullahs were granted a pathway to legally obtain a nuclear arsenal in ten years - sooner if they pursue it illegally.
President Barack Obama speaks about US - Iranian relations, including the Iranian-American nationals that were jailed in Iran and are being freed as part of a prisoner swap, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, January 17, 2016. (Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Practically everything the mullahs sought in their negotiations with Secretary of State John “Neville Chamberlain” Kerry was granted. This included releasing $150 billion in sanctions relief (Obama claims it is far less - only $55 billion), even though it is well understood some of those assets will be used to fund Tehran’s terrorist activities.
Repeatedly designated as the leading state sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. State Department, a 2015 State Department report found Iran’s support for terrorism “undiminished.” Additionally, it is estimated Iran has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 American military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 as weapons purchased by Tehran flooded those battlefields. Furthermore, Tehran has been paying to Afghan militants a $1,000 bounty per head for killing U.S. servicemen.
Whenever Iran has acted aggressively - whether capturing and humiliating crews of U.S. Navy boats disabled in Iranian waters, conducting ballistic missile tests in defiance of U.S. sanctions, flying a surveillance drone menacingly close to a U.S. aircraft carrier - Obama has constantly played down Tehran’s disturbing conduct.
One can only assume that the day nuclear-armed Iranian missiles race towards their U.S. targets, former President Obama will rationalize that it is all just a big misunderstanding.
The mullahs undoubtedly believe, based on what they have been able to gain during Obama’s White House occupancy, the U.S. president is a blessing sent by Allah.
However, Obama’s “love a mullah” campaign has just been dealt a serious set back. As might be expected, it came - not at his hands - but at those of the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS).
It has been established that Iranian support of terrorist activities around the world has been responsible for the deaths of many Americans. The list of these activities is lengthy, among them many deadly bombings: the U.S. embassy in Beirut in 1983, the U.S. Marine Barracks there later that year, Saudi Arabia’s Khobar Towers, housing U.S. forces, in 1995, a Gaza bus, also in 1995, that killed an American student, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 and the 9/11 attacks.
Lawsuits filed by survivors and victim families against Iran for these activities have been working their way through the U.S. court system.
One of these cases - the 1983 Beirut bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks - resulted in a judgment to the plaintiffs in 2014 of $1.75 billion, the exact amount of Iranian funds held by Citibank NA. The plaintiffs had actually won a default judgment against Iran in 2007 for $2.65 billion, so the 2014 award by the New York-based Second Circuit Court of Appeals was only a partial satisfaction of it.
Iran filed an appeal with SCOTUS. Its defense was that a 2012 law passed by Congress vesting victims of Iranian terrorist acts with a right of compensation violated the U.S. Constitution - specifically the separation of powers doctrine - by overstepping congressional authority.
SCOTUS disagreed with Iran, ruling in favor of the victims’ families.
Thus, SCOTUS has done something Obama has refused to do for eight years - hold Iran accountable for its egregious conduct in supporting terrorism. For Tehran’s mullahs, who have been used to getting their way, this judgment is a collective “stick in the eye.”
Victims’ families may not want to celebrate their courtroom victory yet, however. Undoubtedly, Obama, unhappy with any development contrary to his love-a-mullah policy, may yet have an ace up his sleeve. He still may opt to exercise some sort of executive action to ensure that the $1.75 billion makes its way into the coffers of his Iranian friends where it can be put to use to continue killing Americans.
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