Donald Trump has long opposed the Iran nuclear deal. Now it’s been revealed his representatives hired a private Israeli intelligence firm to try to destroy the deal as it was being negotiated by discrediting representatives of the Obama administration working on it.
By John Friend
Representatives of President Donald Trump contracted private Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube to help orchestrate a “black-ops” campaign against key individuals who were involved in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, it has been revealed. The president has long lambasted the agreement, calling it “defective at its core.”
In May of last year, reports The Guardian, advisers connected to President Trump hired private investigators from Israel, some of whom were former Mossad agents, to dig into the private lives of at least two former Obama administration officials who were instrumental in securing the Iran nuclear deal: Ben Rhodes, a national security adviser to Obama, and Colin Kahl, a deputy assistant to Obama. Rhodes and Kahl were both closely involved in the negotiations leading up to the agreement with the Iranian government, which has long been demonized by Israel and Zionist war hawks in America. The private Israeli intelligence operatives were contracted by people close to Trump in an elaborate effort to undermine the Iran deal and discredit those involved in negotiating it, namely Rhodes and Kahl.
“The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it,” an anonymous source with direct knowledge of the shady campaign explained to The Guardian.
Despite the fact that international inspectors say Iran has lived up to an agreement that it significantly scale back its nuclear program, Trump still withdrew the U.S. from the deal in early May, claiming that it didn’t go far enough. Trump and his pro-Israel backers contend that Iran should not have the right to defend itself militarily should Israel or the United States threaten it.
“These are extraordinary and appalling allegations but which also illustrate a high level of desperation by Trump and [Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, not so much to discredit the deal but to undermine those around it,” Jack Straw, a former British foreign secretary who was also involved in negotiations with the Iranian government, stated following the scandalous revelations.
The private investigators contracted by Trump’s aides were tasked with investigating the personal relationships of Rhodes and Kahl, including any contact they had with pro-Iranian lobbyists. They also attempted to discover whether or not Rhodes and Kahl, among other Obama officials, personally benefited from the Iranian deal and investigated their contacts in the mass media.
It has not yet been revealed to what extent the Israeli investigators went in their campaign and what eventually became of it.
Rhodes and Kahl were apparently unaware of the campaign leveled against them but were not surprised to learn of it following mainstream reports of its existence.
“I was not aware, though sadly am not surprised,” Rhodes stated following reports outlining the shady tactics. “I would say that digging up dirt on someone for carrying out their professional responsibilities in their positions as White House officials is a chillingly authoritarian thing to do.”
This news comes as Israel and pro-Israel partisans in the U.S. mass media and federal government increase their deceptive public relations campaign against Iran. In late April, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a special presentation to much fanfare purportedly documenting the intrigues of the Iranian government, who he claims continues to pursue a secret nuclear weapons program. The truth of the matter, however, was that Netanyahu was touting documents from nearly two decades ago purportedly showing Iran was interested in pursuing nuclear weapons. The nuclear agreement signed between Iran, Europe, Russia, China, and the U.S. allowed unprecedented checks from international investigators, who have repeatedly confirmed that Iran is living up to its end of the deal.
Netanyahu appears to have major influence over the Trump administration, as both political leaders have increased their hostile rhetoric toward the Islamic Republic in an attempt to demonize the Iranians.
John Friend is a freelance writer based in California.