Senate demands to see Parchin and PMD ('possible military dimensions') deals - UPDATEDdemanding to see the secret agreements whose existence was disclosed on Tuesday by the IAEA to Congressman Bob Pompeo (R-Ks) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The Cotton-Pompeo trip is already affecting the debate over the Iran deal on Capitol Hill. According to The Hill, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker and ranking member Ben Cardin met with Department of Energy secretary Ernest Moniz yesterday to demand copies of the side agreements discovered by Cotton and Pompeo. The two senators also sent a joint letter to President Obama asking for copies of these documents.Fred Fleitz (at that first link) also explains the significance of what's being hidden.
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.Still waiting for the Democrats to stand up to Obama on this. Ben Cardin? Chuck Schumer? The only one I'm betting on is Bob Menendez - he has nothing to lose.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE 5:59 PM
On Morning Joe on Wednesday morning, State Department Spokesman John Kirby refused to answer questions regarding the existence of side deals that were not shown to Congress.
Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Twitchy via Washington Free Beacon).
My friend Noah Pollak suggests that the clock should not start ticking on Congress' 60-day review period until it receives all of the documents.
Indeed.Shouldn't 60-day review clock be reset until turned over? RT @DavidMDrucker: Senators say docs missing from #IranDeal http://t.co/rcv4Nczpxi— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) July 22, 2015
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Ben Cardin, Bob Corker, Charles Schumer, Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iranian nuclear threat, John Kerry, Parchin, Possible Military Dimensions (PMD), Robert Menendez