What Is Being Hidden Here?

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted a story about some recent comments by senior Iranian officials.

The article reports:

Senior Iranian officials are warning the Trump administration about disclosing secret deals related to the nuclear deal that have long been hidden from the public by the Obama administration, according to recent comments that prompted pushback from senior sources on Capitol Hill.

Does anyone else wonder why the details of this agreement are such a closely guarded secret? What ever happened to transparency in government? Iran may be a tyrannical dictatorship, but America is supposed to be a representative republic.

The article further reports:

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a senior Iranian lawmaker and head of country’s foreign policy committee, warned the Trump administration against making these documents public in recent remarks.

“If Trump wants to publish confidential documents exchanged between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, it will in fact constitute a violation of the agency’s obligations, because the agency has been committed not to make Iran’s confidential nuclear information and documents available to any country, including the U.S.,” Boroujerdi was quoted as saying in Iran’s state-run media.

Some of these documents surround side deals struck between Iran and the IAEA regarding the Islamic Republic’s ability to enrich uranium. They also include deals about how much information Iran must disclose to international inspectors about the country’s contested nuclear program.

As part of the nuclear deal, U.S. inspectors are not permitted to take part in the review of any Iranian sites.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), a vocal opponent of the Iran deal who has long been fighting for the full disclosure of the Iran deal documents, told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration hid these documents in order to mislead Americans about the true nature of the agreement.

“The administration is under no obligation to conceal information about secret side deals, nor should they feel obligated to protect the anonymity of individuals or institutions who misbehaved at the behest of the Obama administration,” Roskam said.

Included in these documents are details of multiple, secret payments to Iran that totaled close to $2 billion. The money is believed to have been part of an incentive package aimed at securing the release last year of several American hostages in Iran.

None of this information is technically classified, yet it remains hidden from the American public and a large portion of Congress.

This is a nuclear agreement that could potentially impact the future of not only the Middle East but also America. The American public has a right to know exactly what was agreed to by the Obama Administration.

 

No One Likes Being Lied To

No one likes being lied to. However, some lies have greater consequences than others. The Washington Free Beacon posted a story yesterday about an investigation into lies the Obama Administration told Congress about the Iranian nuclear deal. Evidently what Congress was told about the concessions made to Iran actually bore little resemblance to the deal that was finally agreed to.

The article reports:

The concerns come after statements from top officials last week suggesting that Iran is set to receive greater weapons and sanctions relief, moves that the administration had promised Congress would never take place as White House officials promoted the deal last summer.

“When multiple officials—including Secretary Kerry, Secretary Lew, and Ambassador Mull—testify in front of Members of Congress, we are inclined to believe them,” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) told the Washington Free Beacon.

“However, the gap between their promises on the Iran nuclear deal and today’s scary reality continues to widen. We are now trying to determine whether this was intentional deception on the part of the administration or new levels of disturbing acquiescence to the Iranians,” Pompeo said.

Congress is believed to be investigating what insiders described to the Free Beacon as a range of areas in which administration officials may have understated the breadth of concessions made to the Islamic Republic when trying to persuade lawmakers to sign off on the final deal.

The article goes on to detail the areas where the actual deal does not resemble the information Congress received.

The article notes that Secretary of State John Kerry promised that under the agreement signed with Iran, Iran would be prohibited from carrying out ballistic missile tests.

The article reports:

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., shifted course last week, refusing to call recent Iranian launches a “violation” in a letter she signed criticizing those launches.

Note to Ms. Power: Iran is not particularly impressed nor responsive to criticism.

The article further reports:

“The Obama administration is involved in yet another sleight of hand on sanctions relief as well as the status of U.N. missile sanctions,” Dubowitz sai. “This is very familiar to those who tracked the Iran nuclear talks and recall the many ways in which broken commitments were justified and redlines were abandoned.”

Iranian allies on the U.N. Security Council, mainly Russia, have defended the missile tests, arguing that resolution 2231 has only “called upon” Iran to refrain from these tests.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin recently stated that the newest U.N. resolution governing the nuclear agreement only suggests that Iran stop test firing missiles.

“A call is different from a ban so legally you cannot violate a call, you can comply with a call or you can ignore the call, but you cannot violate a call,” Churkin was quoted as saying. “The legal distinction is there.”

Congressional critics have dismissed the argument and are pressing on the Obama administration to stand up to Iran’s defenders.

“The Kremlin’s absurd legal argument after Iran’s March tests that ‘legally you cannot violate a call’ would essentially allow the Iranian regime to do anything it wants to further develop its ballistic missile program,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter.

The Iranian nuclear deal was a badly negotiated deal. It was something that President Obama wanted to put in his legacy, and he gave away the store in order to get it done. He then added insult to injury by reporting the details, nuances, and intricacies to Congress in a manner that may not have been entirely truthful. Congress may not be unified on much, but they are pretty unified on the fact that they don’t like being lied to.

It will be interesting to see exactly what this investigation uncovers and also to see exactly what will happen if in fact Congress has been lied to. We have about eight months left of the Obama Administration. Get out the popcorn, it is going to be interesting.

Sometimes The Logic Just Escapes Me

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about the nuclear deal with Iran. The article cites an interview on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) were Secretary of State Kerry stated that Iran won’t use the money to support terrorism because it isn’t “allowed” to do so. He then clarified that there is nothing about this in the nuclear deal, but that existing U.N. resolutions prohibit Iran from supporting Hezbollah and other terrorists.

The article points out:

But wait! Existing U.N. resolutions also prohibit Iran from producing nuclear bombs. If all it takes to stop Iran is a U.N. resolution, why does the administration think we need the current agreement?

Please follow the link above to Power Line to watch the interview.

The article reports:

Kerry went on to add that Iran has significant domestic needs, including rebuilding its oil infrastructure. He suggested that the mullahs will put the money to such peaceful uses. I agree that some of the windfall will no doubt be spent domestically. But that is the other half of the problem: the billions in cash, plus the economic relief that will continue to flow from the removal of sanctions, will validate the mullahs’ policies and entrench their power. We should be trying to get the mullahs turned out, not helping them to perpetuate their rule.

The problem with Iran going nuclear is that the mullahs are in control of the country. They do not represent a government that is willing to live at peace with all of their neighbors. It is ironic that the Iranian government has done more to unite many of the Arab countries with Israel that diplomacy could ever do.

 

This Really Isn’t A Surprise

Reuters is reporting today that Britain has told a United Nations panel in charge of sanctions on Iran that there is an active Iranian nuclear procurement network linked to two blacklisted firms.

The article reports:

“The UK government informed the Panel on 20 April 2015 that it ‘is aware of an active Iranian nuclear procurement network which has been associated with Iran’s Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA) and Kalay Electric Company (KEC)’,” the Panel of Experts said in its annual report. The panel monitors Iran’s compliance with the U.N. sanctions regime.

KEC is under U.N. Security Council sanctions while TESA is under U.S. and European Union sanctions due to their suspected links to banned Iranian nuclear activities.

Iran, which is has been under sanctions for years, has a long history of illicit nuclear procurement using front companies and other methods of skirting sanctions.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Iran is not an honest negotiator, and America needs to break off talks with them at least until the American prisoners they hold are released.

 

This Seems To Be A Rather Unagreeable Agreement

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the nuclear agreement reached with Iran.

The article reports:

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people and Congress in a fact sheet it released following the culmination of negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

Zarif bragged in an earlier press conference with reporters that the United States had tentatively agreed to let it continue the enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear bomb, as well as key nuclear research.

Zarif additionally said Iran would have all nuclear-related sanctions lifted once a final deal is signed and that the country would not be forced to shut down any of its currently operating nuclear installations.

Following a subsequent press conference by Secretary of State John Kerry—and release of a administration fact sheet on Iranian concessions—Zarif lashed out on Twitter over what he dubbed lies.

Zarif has told reporters that the agreement allows Iran to continue its nuclear program.

It seems the only concession made in the negotiations was that the sanctions on Iran would be lifted. I don’t see any evidence that Iran gave up anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is This Legal?

Yesterday The Hill reported that the Obama Administration has stated that some details of the nuclear deal with Iran will not be made public.

The article reports:

“I don’t know at this stage, because we don’t know exactly what form any agreement would take, whether certain pieces would be — would remain classified and be subject to classified review, what parts would be public. I can’t tell you at this stage,” he said, in response to questioning from Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.).

Blinken’s comments came the same day that administration officials said the emerging nuclear deal would likely allow Iran to have up to 6,000 nuclear centrifuges for at least 10 years. The deal would also lift sanctions on the country.

International negotiators are racing to finish the outlines of a deal before their self-imposed deadline in late March, with Secretary of State John Kerry taking a lead role in the talks.

I am not even sure if this is legal. The Obama Administration has also stated that the deal with Iran will not require approval from Congress. This does not sound like the way our government is supposed to work. I hope Congress will stand up to this power grab by the Obama Administration. Congress is the only one who can lift the sanctions on Iran, but at this point I am not sure that President Obama will respect that fact.

Forward Progress Is Hard When Members Of The Team Are Pulling In Opposite Directions

Today the Washington Free Beacon reported that Russia is helping Iran build a second  nuclear power plant. Iran claims that the plant will be used to generate electricity, but the plant will also give Iran access to plutonium, which could be used to fuel a nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, Congress is trying to put new economic sanctions on Iran, and the White House is blocking them.

The article reports:

However, the White House continues to pressure lawmakers to hold off on passing a new round of sanctions, arguing that they would likely spark a war with Iran.

Democrats and Republicans balked at this assessment during a congressional hearing on Wednesday, saying that sanctions are the only way to rein in Tehran’s ongoing nuclear work.

“Sanctions have forced Iran to the table and we should build upon this success with additional measures,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R., Calif.) said during a hearing to assess Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s first 100 days in office.

“The Iranian regime hasn’t paused its nuke program,” Royce said. “Why should we pause our sanctions efforts as the admin is pressuring Congress to do?”

The sanctions on Iran have had a major impact on the Iranian economy. On October 8, 2013, the Washington Free Beacon reported:

The Iranian economy is just 18 months away from collapse according to Israeli intelligence minister Yuval Steinitz.

Steinitz, speaking at a conference Monday at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said that international sanctions have effectively caused major damage to Iran’s economy.

It is no wonder that Iran is willing to negotiate to save its economy. What Iran is not willing to negotiate is the continuation of its nuclear program. We need to remember that.

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