Secretary of State John Kerry is fighting back claims that he failed to negotiate strongly-enough for the release of four Americans being held by Iran.
In an MSNBC interview, Kerry said that he brought it up several times in the last few weeks when asked about negotiating for the release of hostages. “There was not a meeting that took place – not one meeting that took place, believe me that’s not an exaggeration – where we did not raise the issue of our American citizens being held.”
Somehow, Kerry has copied President Obama’s negotiating tactics: just kinda ask for what we need, but give them whatever they want.
I imagine that the Iranians didn’t just bring-up the subject of immediate sanction relief, “managed inspections”, relieving the arms embargo, getting ICBMS or leaving a major nuclear facility off of the inspection list. I bet they fought like hell for those items and gave no ground. The same cannot be said of our administration’s efforts.
The second Tehran introduced immediate sanction relief Kerry should have pounced and said, we’re going to need those hostages released to discuss that.
When the Iranians asked for the arms embargo to be lifted, then Kerry should have demanded anywhere, anytime inspections. This agreement wasn’t a give-and-take as much as it was a give.
But hey, in place of great negotiating, Kerry is optimistic: “We remain very, very hopeful that Iran will make the decision to do the right thing and to return those citizens to the United States.”
Yeah, that’s how negotiating is done.. lots and lots of hope.