Kerry: ‘No Knowledge’ that ‘Death to America’ is ‘Specific Plan’

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In his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to sell the U.S. administration’s deal between Iran and the world’s superpowers, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was pointedly asked, “Is it the policy of the ayatollah, if you can answer for him, that Iran wants to destroy the United States?”

The question, posed by Congressman Lloyd “Ted” Poe (R-Texas) was a reference to the many times the leaders of the Iranian regime have threatened to annihilate the United States.

In response, Kerry said, “I don’t believe they’ve said that. I think they’ve said ‘Death to America,’ in their chants, but I have not seen this specific.”

Poe countered, “Well, I kind of take that to mean that they want us dead. That would seem like that would be their policy. He said that. You don’t think that’s their policy? I’m not mincing words. Do you think it’s their policy to destroy us?”

“I think they have a policy of opposition to us and a great enmity, but I have no specific knowledge of a plan by Iran to actually destroy us,” Kerry answered.

In response to a further question posing the possibility that Iran would initially hold by the agreement until they had made a nuclear bomb (the construction of which would be facilitated by the $150 billion promised to them in sanctions relief), Kerry said that it wasn’t likely, saying Iran was under domestic pressure to use the money to improve their failing economy.

However, despite the fact economic sanctions have severely damaged Iran’s economy since they were imposed beginning in 1995, Tehran announced earlier this month it would extend a $1 billion credit line to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.  It is the second such credit line extended by Iran, which previously lent Assad $1 billion in 2013.

In addition, while under economic sanctions, Iran has managed to give the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah between $60-200 million annually.

In his first public speech since the announcement of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated Iran would continue to support its friends in the Middle East, including the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah, the governments of Syria and Iraq, the “oppressed people” in Yemen and Bahrain, and Palestinian oppositions groups (such as Hamas). 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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