“Zeal for the deal” caused Obama to dismantle units targeting Iran terror financing

Susan Crabtree of the Washington Free Beacon reports on explosive testimony from David Asher, who served as an adviser to Gen. John Allen at the Defense and State Departments. Asher told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that, in the lead-up to and during nuclear negotiations with Iran, top officials across several key law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the Obama administration “systematically disbanded” law enforcement activities targeting the terrorism financing operations of Iran, Hezbollah, and Venezuela.

Asher stated:

Senior leadership, presiding, directing, and overseeing various sections [of these agencies] and portions of the U.S. intelligence community systematically disbanded any internal or external stakeholder action that threatened to derail the administration’s policy agenda focused on Iran.

I wonder whether James Comey, the FBI director at the time, was part of this disbanding.

Asher went on to testify that the Obama administration squandered the chance “at a very low financial cost” to take apart Hezbollah’s finances, its global organization, and the Iran proxy’s ability to “readily terrorize us [and] victimize us. . . .” He added:

We lost much of the altitude we had gained in our global effort, and many aspects including key personnel, who were reassigned, budgets that were slashed—many key elements of the investigations that were underway were undermined.

Indeed, said Asher, “several top cops” retired and the U.S. government lost their years of expertise.

Asher described extensive collaboration in terror-financing among the Iranians, Syrians, and Venezuelans. He testified that the U.S. government was in a position to take these networks down. Instead, the Obama administration took down the units that were combating the terror-financing, according to Asher.

It did so for the same reason it released seven Iranian-born prisoners in U.S. custody, some of whom were viewed by the Obama Justice Department of posing a serious threat to national security. It did so for the same reason it never publicly disclosed an Iranian cyber-attack on the State Department in late September of 2015 that sent shock waves through the department and private-contractor community.

In each instance, the motive was fear of disrupting the nuclear deal or, as House Foreign Relations Committee chairman Ed Royce put it, “zeal for the deal” — a deal that, even if adhered to, will not deny Iran nuclear weapons.

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