Obama Admin Secretly Guarantees
Russia, China Sanctions Protection
By Adam Kredo
Washington Free Beacon
September 16, 2015
States has provided secret assurances to Europe, China, and Russia that it will
protect companies working with Iran from consequences related to the possible
reimposition of sanctions set to be lifted under the recently inked nuclear
deal, according to a document provided to Congress and obtained exclusively by
the Washington Free Beacon.
State John Kerry admitted to Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) that the United States
will work with foreign companies who financially engage Iran to shield them from
penalties in the aftermath of Iran violating the agreement, a decision experts
told the Free Beacon risked a corporate rush into Iran that will
permanently bolster the Iranian economy and incentivize Iranian cheating.
acknowledged that the Obama administration had provided confidential guarantees
that Washington “would not retroactively sanction companies” who helped
bolster the Iranian economy and that the United States would work with those
companies to bring their future activity in Iran into compliance with any new
companies that have contracts that would otherwise continue after snapback, we
have a consistent past practice of working with companies to wind down their
contracts,” he wrote in the on the record statement.
statements were in response to a congressional inquiry about a provision in the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), dubbed a “grandfather clause,”
that would provide contract sanctity to corporations doing business in Iran.
While the administration has denied that any such provision exists, Kerry
admitted to Rubio that it would be provided on a case-by-case basis.
consult with relevant states on a case-by-case basis to address issues that may
arise,” Kerry writes. “We have not, however, committed to provide a blanket
exemption (or grandfather clause).”
to justify the assurances as necessary to convince American rivals such as
Russia and China to go along with the deal. Both nations and their private
companies stand to benefit greatly from arms deals and other future agreements
“When we were negotiating this provision, some of our partners expressed concerns that if sanctions snapped back, their companies would be suddenly sanctioned for doing business in Iran that was consistent with the JCPOA,” Kerry writes.
guarantees were provided in secret letters sent to China, Germany, France, and
the United Kingdom. Kerry noted that the letters were transmitted to lawmakers
as part of a mandatory disclosure required by legislation providing for
congressional review of the deal.
their staffers are prohibited from sharing the contents of those letters with
the American public. The administration appears to have intentionally mixed
classified and unclassified information into that disclosure to bury the
material, the Daily Beast reported in
the Free Beacon that the concession undermines the effectiveness of
worst of all worlds,” according to one analyst involved in helping lawmakers
evaluate the potential results of sanctions relief to Iran. “European
countries will resist any finding that the Iranians are cheating because they
won’t want to endanger their corporations’ future business, and companies
will know that one way or another they can act recklessly regarding investments
disclosures come on the heels of a Free
Beacon report revealing that Iran has been spending billions to
pay the salaries of terrorists.
potentially millions of dollars in monthly payments to pro-government forces in
Syria, more than $1 billion in military aid to fighters in Iraq, and about $20
million annually to Hamas terrorists, according to a private report commissioned
by Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.).
was assembled following a request by Kirk for the Obama administration to
disclose its estimates of “Iranian military spending, as well as Iranian
assistance to Houthi rebels in Yemen, Shiite militias in Iraq, the Assad
government, Hezbollah, and Hamas,” according to a copy
of that report.
personal letter to Rubio also discloses that Iran is permitted to test fire
ballistic missiles under the nuclear accord, the Free
Beacon revealed Wednesday.
not be a violation of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] if Iran
tested a conventional ballistic missile,” Kerry disclosed in the document.