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.