In an October 22 column on the right-wing website WorldNetDaily.com, Jerome R. Corsi falsely claimed Senator John Kerry advocates "free access to nuclear fuel" for Iran "all under the presumption that they will keep their word and use the uranium for peaceful purpose only." In fact, Kerry proposes nothing of the sort. Corsi is co-author with John E. O'Neill of Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry (Regnery, August 2004) whose anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim slurs Media Matters for America first exposed on August 6.
The national security plan on the official Kerry-Edwards '04 campaign website makes clear that Kerry advocates giving Iran nuclear fuel only as part of a deal in which the international community can verify that Iran is using the fuel for peaceful purposes:
Iran claims that its nuclear program is only to meet its domestic energy needs. John Kerry's proposal would call their bluff by organizing a group of states to offer Iran the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they cannot divert it to build a weapon. If Iran does not accept this offer, their true motivations will be clear. Under the current circumstances, John Kerry believes we should support the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) efforts to discern the full extent of Iran's nuclear program, while pushing Iran to agree to a verifiable and permanent suspension of its enrichment and reprocessing programs. If this process fails, we must lead the effort to ensure that the IAEA takes this issue to the Security Council for action.
MMFA has previously documented NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell misstating Kerry's plan in this way.
Corsi warned of dire consequences "[s]hould John Kerry and the pro-Iran lobby in the United States have its way, and should we normalize diplomatic relations with Iran." But Kerry has never proposed normalizing diplomatic relations with Iran. In fact, in the October 3 presidential debate, Kerry actually criticized President George W. Bush for neglecting what Kerry was as an opportunity to move toward multilateral trade sanctions against Iran on top of the unilateral sanctions that the United States currently imposes because of Iran's nuclear weapons program. Kerry said: "Only the United States put the sanctions [against Iran] on alone. ... In order for the sanctions to be effective, we should have been working with the British, French, and Germans, and other countries. And that's the difference between the president and me."
Corsi also suggested that Kerry's overly generous Iran plan is the result of bribery by Hassan Nemazee. Corsi referred to Nemazee simply as "an Iranian-American" and suggested he might be an agent of the Iranian regime. In fact, Nemazee is a U.S. citizen born in Washington, D.C. He is chairman and CEO of Nemazee Capital Corporation and a vice chair of the Kerry-Edwards '04 campaign who has raised more than $500,000 for the campaign.
The suggestion that Kerry's plan is indeed motivated by bribery rather than Kerry's honest views about how to deal with Iran's nuclear program is difficult to square with the recent offer to Iran by the so-called "EU 3" -- France, Britain, and Germany -- which closely mirrors Kerry's proposal.
Though he provided no evidence for his charges against Nemazee or Kerry, Corsi did pose two insinuating questions: "Could we be experiencing a repeat of [former president] Bill Clinton's infamous Chinagate? Was Kerry willing to trade access to nuclear technology and nuclear fuel in return for generous campaign contributions? These are important questions."
But "Chinagate" involved alleged contributions from a bona fide Chinese agent, General Ji Shengde, the chief of Chinese military intelligence, through an intermediary, Democratic fundraiser Johnny Chung, according to a July 3, 1999, Washington Post article. Corsi produced no evidence that Iranian officials have contributed to Kerry through Nemazee or anyone else. In fact, the head of Iran's security council actually endorsed Bush on October 19.
WorldNetDaily.com's book division, WND Books, will publish Corsi's next book, to be titled Atomic Islam: How Terrorist Iran Bought the Bomb and U.S. Politicians. The book will be about "the influence of the terrorist Iranian government over the U.S."