Did they lie or did they just bow to Iran?
The Israel Project's Omri Ceren sent around an email this afternoon reporting that Congress is looking into whether Obama administration officials lied to Congress in their testimony about the Iran deal last summer, or whether they have just totally bowed to Iran.
Last week reporters confirmed that the
Obama administration has reversed itself on a number of commitments made
to Congress during last summer's push to get support for the Iran deal.
Specifically the AP confirmed that the administration intends to give
Iran indirect access the U.S. financial system and Reuters confirmed
that Washington is no longer labeling Iranian missile launches a
"violation" of the U.N. ban [a][b].
White House, State Department, and Treasury officials testified to
Congress last summer that exactly the opposite would happen. Last Friday
Bloomberg View published a roundup how lawmakers are reacting. It noted
that these were not the first two bait-and-switches the administration
has pulled, and catalogued statements of opposition from both parties in
both chambers. I sent around the article last night with a bunch of
links and background, so let me know if you didn't get it.
Now this morning lawmakers are sharpening the question into: did the administration deliberately mislead lawmakers last summer or is the deal still open
so that the Iranians have been extracting more concessions since then?
The full story from the Washington Free Beacon is pasted below, but the
key quote comes from Rep. Pompeo:
"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
Now the transcripts. In case you're reporting out this story, this is some of the testimony Pompeo was probably referencing:
Sec. Lew testimony on Iran being "denied access to the
world's largest financial and commercial market" due to the
LEW: But a number of key sanctions will remain in place...
Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York,
hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial
institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks.
Iran, in other words, will continue to be denied access to the world’s
largest financial and commercial market. The JCPOA makes only minor
allowances to this broad prohibition. (SFRC, July 23, [c])
Amb. Mull testimony on ballistic missile launches being a "violation":
THE CHAIRMAN: There is some weird language in the UNSCR that this
refers to. It says "they're called upon." Out of curiosity, after the
implementation if they launch these types of missiles, is it or is it
not in violation of the agreement?
There's other problematic testimony floating around on both of these
issues, as well as on other bait-and-switches such as IAEA access to
military sites, which the Agency was refused when it tried to enter the
Parchin base where Iran conducted tests related to nuclear warheads.
AMB MULL. It is not in violation of the JCPOA. It is a violation of Security Council resolutions.
CHAIRMAN: So the called-upon language from your perspective makes it
clear that going forward it will continue to be a violation?
AMB MULL. The calls-upon language, it would violate that part of the U.N. Security Council resolution... (SFRC, Dec 17, [d @ 34:55])
On non-nuclear relief and dollarization, Treasury Undersecretary Szubin
testified to Senate Banking that "no Iranian banks can access the US
financial system; not to open an account, not to purchase a security,
and not even to execute a dollarized transaction where a split second's
worth of business is done in a New York clearing bank" [e]. On missiles,
Sec. Kerry somewhat notoriously insisted to Sen. Menenedez that
old language banning Iranian ballistic missile launches had been
imported unchanged into the new UNSCR [f]. On IAEA access to military
sites, Sec. Kerry told HFAC that failure to provide access would
put Iran "in material breach of the agreement and the sanctions will
snap back" [g]. Etc.
You don't think Obama instructed his people to lie to the Senate, do you?
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Iranian nuclear threat, Jacob Lew, Senate's treaty powers, United States Senate