Not only has Obama gone to the United Nations with his Iran deal bypassing Congress but now we learn he has negotiated two side deals with Iran that will remove the United States from the verification process of Iran’s nuclear development.
Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Congressmen Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) issued a press release yesterday on a startling discovery they made during a July 17 meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency officials in Vienna: There are two secret side deals to the nuclear agreement with Iran that will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the U.S. public.
One of these side deals concerns inspection of the Parchin military base, where Iran reportedly has conducted explosive testing related to nuclear-warhead development. The Iranian government has refused to allow the IAEA to visit this site. Over the last several years, Iran has taken steps to clean up evidence of weapons-related activity at Parchin.
The other secret side deal concerns how the IAEA and Iran will resolve outstanding issues on possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program. In late 2013, Iran agreed to resolve IAEA questions about nuclear weapons-related work in twelve areas. Iran only answered questions in one of these areas and rejected the rest as based on forgeries and fabrications.
Former Department of Energy official William Tobey explained in a July 15 Wall Street Journal op-ed why it is crucial that Iran resolve the PMD issue. According to Tobey, “for inspections to be meaningful, Iran would have to completely and correctly declare all its relevant nuclear activities and procurement, past and present.”
According to the Cotton/Pompeo press release, there will be a secret, opaque procedure to verify Iran’s compliance with these side agreements. The press release says:
According to the IAEA, the Iran agreement negotiators, including the Obama administration, agreed that the IAEA and Iran would forge separate arrangements to govern the inspection of the Parchin military complex — one of the most secretive military facilities in Iran — and how Iran would satisfy the IAEA’s outstanding questions regarding past weaponization work. Both arrangements will not be vetted by any organization other than Iran and the IAEA, and will not be released even to the nations that negotiated the JCPOA [Iran nuclear agreement]. This means that the secret arrangements have not been released for public scrutiny and have not been submitted to Congress as part of its legislatively mandated review of the Iran deal.
This means that two crucial measures of Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement will not be disclosed to Congress despite the requirements of the Corker-Cardin bill (the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act), which requires the Obama administration to provide the U.S. Congress with all documents associated with the agreement, including all “annexes, appendices, codicils, side agreements [emphasis added], implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical, or other understandings and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future.”
It also means that Congress will have no way of knowing whether Iran complied with either side agreement.
This is especially troublesome for the PMD issue. I wrote in National Review on June 15 and June 17 that the Obama administration was trying to find a way to let Iran off the hook for past nuclear weapons-related work. It seems to have found a way to do this with a secret procedure shielded from the American public and the U.S. Congress.
What do Obama administration officials know about these secret agreements? A source who was in the Cotton-Pompeo meeting told me that IAEA officials gave a vague answer to this question that “Secretary Kerry was told about the agreements.”
“This means that the secret arrangements have not been released for public scrutiny and have not been submitted to Congress as part of its legislatively mandated review of the Iran deal,” which means Congress will have no way of knowing whether Iran complied with either of these side agreements. “The United States has been shut out of this aspect of the verification of the deal, the inspection of a military base where Iran had done major nuclear weapons research.”
We have no access to it. We agreed to this! Secretary of State Kerry agreed to this, and the requirement that Iran tell us about their past nuclear work so we can get a baseline of how far they had made it? Not allowed to know that. Two side deals were made between the United States and Iran to eliminate the US ability to learn either data point.
Now, back to the story about Senator Tom Cotton and Congressman Mike Pompeo, who is a Republican from Kansas. The story appears in National Review, and they essentially say, to reiterate, that the United States made a secret side deal with Iran on two of the more important sticking points in the negotiations. The first one is the inspection of a military base where Iran had done major nuclear weapons research in the past and may still be.
We don’t know. We’re not allowed to see! By virtue of a side deal, we’re not allowed to go there. The second aspect, is the requirement that Iran fess up — the requirement that Iran tell everybody, including us, about their past nuclear work, which is necessary in order for there to be a baseline for the inspectors. I guess we don’t need a baseline for the inspectors because there are really not gonna be get any inspectors, because there’s a 24-day window that the Iranians have to clean up whatever mess that somebody claims they have made before any inspectors can get in there.
And then the Iranians have to approve the inspectors anyway. So inspection and verification is actually a pipe dream in this deal, but even so, even if it weren’t, the Iranians do not have to openly admit/demonstrate/prove where they are in terms of their stage of nuclear development now. If they don’t have to do that, we can’t establish a baseline to discover whether they are making progress or not. The fact that these two items were agreed to on a side deal that are not part of the main agreement?
It means that these two “crucial measures of Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement will not be disclosed to Congress.” I know. You’re shouting, “What about the Corker Bill! The Corker Bill!” Well, folks, you’ve gotta get the Corker Bill out of your mind because the Corker Bill is just a disastrous mistake. The Corker Bill is classic Republicanism. It is a construct to make Republican voters think that Obama is being opposed, that Obama is being made to work hard to get what he wants. It’s a false construct. It does not prevent Obama from getting anything he wants.
It doesn’t have the ability to. It’s just a showpiece. It’s just one of these things that’s designed, again, to allow the Republicans to give the impression that they’re working hard keeping Obama in line and opposing him when necessary. The fact of the matter is, the Corker Bill, in fact, requires disclosures like this to be made. The Corker Bill requires the Regime “to provide the US Congress with all the documents associated with the agreement.”
These two will not be provided.
So the Regime will be in violation of the Corker Bill and in violation of a whole bunch of other laws, and nothing is gonna happen with it. Meanwhile, John Kerry is running around saying that he’s “disturbed” that the Ayatollah Khamenei is running around saying bad things about us. So I don’t want to dwell on this more than necessary, but I think it’s key to understand the psychology of people, the philosophical psychology of people.
and then there’s this story from the Jewish Press: “US to Protect Iranian Nuke Sites from Israeli Attack.” Now, I mentioned this to you a couple of days ago, but I want to mention it again with what we have been informed here by Tom Cotton and Mike Pompeo. The Iranian nuclear agreement states, “Cooperation to strengthen Iran’s ability to prevent, protect, and respond to nuclear security threats to nuclear facilities and to protect against sabotage.”
The Obama nuclear deal with Iran explicitly states that. It is not left to be assumed, it’s not implied, it’s not to be inferred. It explicitly states that the United States and the other P5 + 1 powers “will help Iran deflect and even respond to sabotage and nuclear threats to its nuclear sites. The evidence that the Obama deal directly allows Western powers to help Iran protect its nuclear sites and possibly even to stage a counterattack on the source of the threat is stated in Annex 3 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA.
“Congress is reviewing the agreement and has the option to cancel America’s commitments under the deal,” but that takes us to the Corker Bill, which makes it nigh on impossible to cancel the deal by virtue of the way the Corker Bill’s vote structure is spelled out. So not only have we tied our own hands on learning about Iran’s nuclear-strength status today and our inability to inspect a prominent military site where they were developing nuclear weapons, now we learn that we have also agreed to defend Iran against any “external threat.”
Read “Israel” in this, to properly understand it. If the Israelis decide that they don’t like this deal and they don’t want to live next to a nation that is planning to wipe ’em out and want to take steps to eliminate Iran’s nuclear plan, the United States has promised the Iranians to defend the Iranians against the Israelis — our allies! That is the latest on the Iranian nuclear agreement.