An Obama administration political appointee who remains employed in the State Department signed off on at least one of the widely disdained groups of “secret side deals” to the Iran nuclear deal that was agreed upon by the Iranian regime and the Obama administration.
Brett McGurk, whose signature (along with his Iranian counterparts) is on three ransom documents, continues to serve in his role as the State Department’s “Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS.” His signature, along with that of his Iranian counterparts, granted approval for the clandestine efforts between the Mullahs and Obama officials.
The American public still has not been made aware of the depths to which the Obama administration went to damage U.S. national security interests as a whole, but a bombshell report in Politico Monday explored just how much damage just one of those side deals did to international security and American interests.
What was already known about the side deal in question was that it gave Tehran $1.7 billion in cash on the same day that the regime released American hostages.
But as part of that side deal with Tehran, the administration also “dropped charges and international arrest warrants against 14 other men, all of them fugitives,” each of whom were revealed to be spies and arms smugglers. One such individual was reportedly smuggling components for improvised explosive devices (that were responsible for killing hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq).
McGurk signed off on not just the ransom deal, but also the removal of international sanctions against Tehran, and the dropping of charges against the Iranian nationals that the U.S. had been seeking.
Yet, McGurk remains on the State Department roster in a very prominent position. Former President Obama praised McGurk’s work, and he was seen as an integral part of Obama’s inner circle on foreign policy matters.
The State Department employee was originally slated to become Obama’s ambassador to Iraq, but he withdrew from the position after extremely inappropriate emails of his surfaced, which alluded to the possibility that he was engaging in unprofessional behavior with a reporter he has since married.
McGurk has been criticized by national security experts for his failure to filter out radical groups from the counter-ISIS coalition that he is responsible for developing.
In his current position, McGurk has lavished praise on Iran-backed jihadist militias in their efforts against Sunni terror groups. In doing so, he commended the “same militias that are responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers,” according to Bill Roggio and Caleb Weiss at the Long War Journal.
The American public still has very limited information on the other two groups of secret side deals, which have only been partially disclosed through the work of investigative journalists.
One group includes 17 documents attached to the Corker-Cardin 2015 Iran review bill. One of those documents includes an agreement made by Iran and the IAEA (The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog) dealing with Iran’s nuclear research and development capabilities. The Obama State Department refused to publicly disclose the details of the agreement, arguing that doing so could hamper diplomatic efforts.
The third batch of side agreements includes an unknown quantity of files on the deal’s implementation. These agreements reportedly grant Iran exemptions and loopholes for violating restrictions on uranium caps, so that the regime can still access billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
A report by the Washington Free Beacon shed further light on the secrecy surrounding the three groups of side deals. According to the report, at least some of the agreements are currently being held on Capitol Hill in a secure facility, which only select members of Congress have access to view. For reasons unknown, President Trump has not yet allowed for these documents to become public. They are not even labeled as classified, but instead “confidential” files with limited access capabilities.
Brett McGurk was responsible for signing off on side agreements that did immense damage to the national security interests of the United States and its allies. As an Obama political appointee, he can be removed from his position immediately. Why McGurk has not been relieved of his duties — as the man who provided his signature on perhaps the most damaging foreign policy documents in decades — remains a mystery.
State Department did not respond to a request for comment by press time. If we do receive a response, the story will be updated.
Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for CR. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.
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