The Minister Who Signed Orbán’s Two Worst Miscalculations

EPIC FAIL: When the minister who supposedly signed and submitted Lex CEU in emergency procedure turns out to have been in Tehran on the day of his signature – signing a nuclear deal with Iran. Iran, which was called a state sponsor of terrorism by Rex Tillerson a few days later. 

Zsolt Semjén is a hunter and MP, and also Orbán’s deputy PM. He signed and supposedly submitted Lex CEU in an emergency procedure, because god knows what would have happened if CEU was allowed to keep operating without a New York campus for another semester. Understandably, it required an emergency procedure and foregoing public debate.

But Semjén is a renaissance useful idiot. He can also be deployed to give his name to international gaffes, such as a hair-raising nuclear deal with Iran. Which he apparently signed in Tehran the same day he was supposedly signing the emergency Lex CEU in Budapest.

Semjén Zsolt az iráni tárgyaláson

Semjén in Tehran. Because. Photo:

Back in February 2016, Salehi said Iran has proposed a project with Hungary to design and develop a small nuclear reactor that could be sold across Asia and Africa and also built in the Islamic republic.

“One particular project that I suggested was to see if we can… together design a small reactor of 25 megawatts,” Salehi said. “It was received well and we hope that we can start this project, just on paper.”

Following the lifting of international sanctions on Iran, Tehran has strived to fully utilize economic and scientific opportunities, including the pursuit of peaceful nuclear activities.

The Islamic Republic also enjoys close nuclear cooperation with Russia.

Last week, a Russian Foreign Ministry source told Sputnik that during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the two countries decided to sign a memorandum on the development of peaceful nuclear cooperation.

“We are talking about signing a document that defines a number of aspects of bilateral cooperation in the field of the purely peaceful use of nuclear energy, including in the context of the construction of the second and third units in Bushehr,” the sources added.

Iran, Hungary set to sign deal for nuclear cooperation – Tehran Times

The talks were concluded and the agreement signed the week Semjén was supposed to push Lex CEU with all his might, due to the emergency nature of the matter of shutting down one of Hungary’s best universities Soros.

Negotiating Iran (and shutting down CEU) might have been a sound idea under the now-falsified premise that the Trump-Putin constellation would give Hungary an edge in the beautiful, authoritarian future, where all is not just forgiven but earns them a statue.

But alas, a few days later Tillerson caused disappointment:

In the letter addressed to Congress, Tillerson asserted that “Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods.”

… Defense Secretary Jame Mattis also highlighted Iran’s in involvement throughout the Middle East.

“Everywhere you look, if there’s trouble in the region, you find Iran,” Mattis told reporters. “Right now, what we’re seeing is the nations in the region and others elsewhere trying to checkmate Iran, and the amount of disruption and the amount of instability they can cause.”

CNN 19 April, 2017

Naturally, the ministry has already denied there should be anything wrong. They said Semjén signed the document earlier than the date was hand-written on it (by someone else) – and it’s OK.

But if Orbán needs an excuse to get out of Lex CEU – this may be it.

Too bad only ordinary mortals get crucified for forging their signatures on public documents – not MPs. As of whether there are any consequences of signing nuclear deals with Iran, we are about to find out…

Semjén is a useful character for Orbán. His party, the Christian democrats are always a great source for sanctimonious, meddling, or misogynistic proposals – and Fidesz not only embraces them, but uses them as distraction because they provoke outrage. (Just take the Sunday closure of retail units that was never asked for and wildly unpopular.)

So when something stupid, outrageous or risky is about to be pushed through, Semjén and his non-party are usually made to do it.

Yesterday, for instance, he (or whoever writes his proposals for him) floated the idea of a dog tax – minus hunting dogs, because Semjén hunts. This is just a tiny example how they purposely work to outrage the public – the more liberal, the better – with moronic topics. You can bash a dog-lover in so many sanctimonious ways if they protest against the proposal. And while you do it – you don’t discuss the 1000 billion forints that are lost to government corruption every year, the state capture, the central bank heist, the erosion of the rule of law.

And since Semjén is the bad adviser to the good king in these stories, Orbán has nothing to lose – not even among his own, dog-loving voters. Whether the US and the EU can be soothed by throwing them Semjén’s head, however, remains to be seen.

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3 thoughts on “The Minister Who Signed Orbán’s Two Worst Miscalculations

  1. Pingback: State Campaign Against George Soros | Meanwhile in Budapest

  2. Pingback: State Campaign Against the “Soros plan” | Meanwhile in Budapest

  3. Pingback: Outrageous Policies Are Not A Mistake | Meanwhile in Budapest

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