A shocking new report from Eli Lake and Josh Rogin ofBloomberg reveals that elements of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran will be hidden from the public in Iran and the United States.
“Last week, a senior U.S. official briefing reporters said: “We expect that a text of the political understanding and the annexes will be public. Whether there will be any attachments or other documents that will be classified is not yet decided.”
But several people familiar with the negotiations told us that there are likely to be certain elements of the complicated agreement to relax sanctions in exchange for inspections of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure that would have to be kept from public view. For example, the precise details of how the International Atomic Energy Agency will inspect and monitor Iranian facilities is likely to be secret because the agency doesn’t want to tip off other proliferators. The names of Iranian scientists associated with the program whom the agency would like to interview will also not be shared with the public.”
Despite objections from many American lawmakers, Iran’s supreme leader doesn’t want military locations to be inspected. The Bloomberg report suggests that this disagreement may also be handled in an undisclosed manner so that both sides can “save face.”
In what is perhaps the most Orwellian aspect of the report, Arms Control Association executive director Daryl Kimball said, “Some aspects of the annexes may not be made public, which is different than being secret.”
One official who served as counsel for the senate who is quoted in the report, pointed out the troubling reality of the situation.
“For months on end, the administration conducted these negotiations in secret and then sought to make the deal on the president’s authority alone, without ever exposing it to public debate or a vote by Congress,” Jamil Jaffer, who until last month was chief counsel on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told us. “Now that Congress has taken that option off the table, it would be troubling, but not surprising, if the administration continued its longstanding effort to keep key elements of this deal away from public scrutiny.”
When he was running for president in 2008, Barack Obama claimed that transparency would be a core principle of his presidency yet negotiations with Iran have been shrouded in secrecy for months.
The fact that any aspects of a nuclear deal with a sworn enemy of the west and America’s ally Israel would be kept hidden from public view should raise red flags for Americans and their elected representatives.
President Obama has said that he would walk away from negotiations if it wasn’t a good deal. He should not be the sole arbiter of the situation.
The American people and members of congress should be involved in the negotiations and be allowed to know every aspect of the deal.
If the deal is good for the country, why can’t the country know what’s going on? Secrecy will only raise more suspicion, as it rightly should.