The White House has been heavily criticized for not tying the release of American citizens being held in Iran to the nuclear agreement.

John Kerry’s way of putting it is simply amazing:

From Kerry’s statement on Tuesday (via National Review):

SEC. KERRY: Well, with respect to Jason Rezaian, not a meeting went by, literally not a meeting, where we did not raise the issue of our citizens who are being held in Iran. And clearly, we are tracking extremely closely the news coming out of Iran regarding the trial and the fact of a conviction.

We still don’t know and we haven’t seen any official confirmation on that verdict whatsoever, and we are continuing a dialogue with the Iranians regarding our citizens, and we will until they come home. So I’m not going to, you know, go backwards except to say that the families themselves of these hostages knew exactly what our strategy was and why it was important not to hold a nuclear agreement hostage to hostages, and in our judgment, it was the right thing to do because it could have complicated both significantly and perhaps have resulted in nothing happening on either.

How much more “Smart Power” can the country handle?




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