Clearing my spindle, Iran edition

Steve Hayward notes that there is a certain lack of conviction in some Democrats’ support of the deal with Iran. That shouldn’t be any great surprise. They know they’re doing the wrong thing.

The deal is both absurd and unpopular. It cannot muster a congressional majority. It will strengthen a transparently evil regime that remains our avowed enemy. So some Democrats support the deal, but not proudly. One such is our own profile in calculation, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. As the man says in the movie, you may be a one-eyed Jack around here, Amy, but we’ve seen the other side of your face.

The deal is shot through with absurdity. It’s hard to top the self-inspection arrangements of the secret IAEA side deal with Iran regarding the Parchin military facility. Yesterday Reuters conveyed Iranian media reports establishing that the Iranians recently took their own environmental samples at Parchin, where they conducted tests relevant to the detonation of nuclear warheads, in lieu of having IAEA inspectors take the samples. Laugh, laugh, I thought I’d die, it seemed so funny to me.

Senator Rubio has sought an answer to a question related to the deal: how much American blood does the Iranian regime have on its hands? Adam Kredo reports: “Obama administration will not reveal to Congress number of Americans killed by Iran.” Analyze this:

The secretary of state declined to provide an answer, instead saying that the administration takes the murder of American citizens “very seriously.”

“The death of any U.S. citizen due to acts of terrorism is a tragedy that we take very seriously,” Kerry writes. “As the President said in his Aug. 5 speech, a nuclear-armed Iran is a danger to Israel, America and the world.”

“The central goal of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] is to eliminate the imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran,” Kerry continued.

When asked a second time by Rubio to specify “How many U.S. troops and soldiers were killed by Iranian-provided weapons or by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Kerry said, again sidestepping the question.

“We are extraordinarily grateful for the service of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, and we mourn the loss of every service member,” Kerry writes. “The JCPOA is not about a change in the broader U.S. relationship with Iran. It is about eliminating the biggest and most imminent threat—a nuclear-armed Iran.”

When separately asked to detail “how many Israelis have been killed by Iran, including by Iran’s terrorist proxies since 1979,” Kerry again declined to respond.

“The central goal of the JCPOA is to eliminate the imminent threat that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon,” Kerry said. “But the JCPOA cannot erase decades of Iranian anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric and actions.”

A State Department official told the Free Beacon that no further information on these questions could be provided beyond what Kerry wrote.

The invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute has been an essential source of information for a long time now and its site is better than ever. MEMRI’s Yigal Carmon provides a short summary of what Iran is permitted to do under the JCPOA. It won’t be running in your local newspaper any time soon.

MEMRI also posts a video clip featuring children on Hamas TV: “We want to wage jihad and blow up the Jews.” Please check it out. It really is worth a look.

Hamas will certainly benefit from the deal, though it is not singled out by former Treasury official Matthew Levitt in his testimony to Congress. In an excerpt highlighted at Mosaic, Mr. Levitt notes:

Increased Iranian spending will . . . benefit Hizballah’s regional and international operations. The group is no longer limited to jockeying for political power in Lebanon and fighting Israel. With more money, it could step up its aid to Shiite militias in Iraq and Yemen in cooperation with Iran, sending small numbers of skilled trainers to bolster local forces and, in some cases, fight alongside them. . . . Hizballah is [already] busier than ever . . . in Syria, where it is engaged in expensive military operations and support activities.

Meanwhile, the group has expanded its regional activities further afield. . . . In April 2014, two Hizballah operatives were arrested in Thailand, one of whom admitted that the two were there to carry out a bomb attack targeting Israeli tourists. . . . More recently, Peruvian counterterrorism police arrested a Hizballah operative in Lima. . . . [His] targets included places associated with Israelis and Jews in Peru, including areas popular with Israeli backpackers, the Israeli embassy in Lima, and Jewish community institutions. . . .

While the Iran deal leaves much open to interpretation, one thing is certain: for Iran this deal is strictly transactional, not transformational. To the contrary, Iran is almost certain to increase its clandestine activities and support for proxies engaged in asymmetric warfare and reasonably deniable intelligence and terrorist operations. In other words, Hizballah is about to take a place of even greater prominence in the planning of Iran’s revolutionary elite.

Other than that, everything is beautiful in its own way. Nobel Peace Prize coming soon.