"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Obama Attacks Iran Deal Critics As Key House Dems Announce Opposition; “Obama Negotiator Says She Didn’t See Final Iran ‘Side Deals'”‏

August 5th, 2015 by mopns · No Comments

The Washington Post writes, “President Obama took sharp aim at critics of the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, saying many of those who backed the U.S. invasion of Iraq now want to reject the accord and put the Middle East on the likely path toward another war.” This was in a speech where the president also said, “I know it’s easy to play in people’s fears, to magnify threats . . . ” President Obama lamented, “Unfortunately, we’re living through a time in American politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prism,” then later claimed, “It’s those [Iranian] hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.”

AFP notes something else Obama said. “President Barack Obama acknowledged Wednesday that Iran might use cash coming its way under sanctions relief to fund ‘terrorist organizations’ but argued this is preferable to allowing it to develop nuclear arms. ‘The truth is, that Iran has always found a way to fund these efforts,” Obama said, in a speech to defend the Iran nuclear deal. And whatever benefit Iran may claim from sanctions relief pales in comparison to the danger it could pose with a nuclear weapon.’”

Also today, Secretary of State John Kerry made an odd argument for the deal to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. “Kerry warned that if Congress rejects the Iran deal, it will confirm the anti-U.S. suspicions harbored by the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and eliminate any chance of a peaceful solution to the nuclear conundrum:

“‘The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,’ Kerry said. ‘This’—a congressional rejection—‘will be the ultimate screwing.’ He went on to argue that ‘the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.’”

Meanwhile, the administration still can’t seem to get its story straight on the side deals between Iran and the IAEA. According to The Hill, “The only Obama administration official to view confidential ‘side deals’ between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) admitted Wednesday she and her team have only seen rough drafts. 

‘I didn’t see the final documents. I saw the provisional documents, as did my experts,’ said Wendy Sherman, a lead U.S. negotiator for the deal, at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.  Sherman, undersecretary of State for political affairs, said she was only allowed to see the confidential deals ‘in the middle of the negotiation’ when the IAEA ‘wanted to go over with some of our experts the technical details.’

“She maintained the deals — which focus on with Iran’s prior work on a bomb and access to Iran’s Parchin military site — are still confidential and can’t be submitted to Congress.

“Sherman said the U.S. did not protest to the confidentiality of the agreements, despite the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act demanding all related agreements, because the administration wanted the IAEA to respect the confidentiality of their agreements with the U.S. . . .

“However, later in the hearing, she walked back her comments about not seeing the final arrangements. ‘I was shown documents that I believed to be the final documents, but whether there were any further discussions…’ she added before being cut off by another question by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Later, she said responded, ‘I have’ when asked whether she saw the final versions of the deals.

“She also argued they could not be submitted to Congress because the administration does not have the deals, and that the Senate had ‘every single document’ the administration has.”

What is clear is that opposition to this deal has been growing. A Quinnipiac poll this week found “American voters oppose 57 – 28 percent, with only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition for Republicans and independent voters, the nuclear pact negotiated with Iran, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released [Monday]. Voters say 58 – 30 percent the nuclear pact will make the world less safe, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds.”

And today, The Hill reports, “The highest-ranking Jewish Democrat in the House announced his opposition to the nuclear accord with Iran on Tuesday, in a blow to the Obama administration’s lobbying efforts.

“‘I’m going to vote against the Iran deal,’ Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) — the former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — told Newsday. ‘I tried very hard to get to yes. But at the end of the day, despite some positive elements in the deal, the totality compelled me to oppose it.’

“In addition to Rep. Israel, Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) also came out against the deal on Tuesday, saying that the multinational agreement did not include enough safeguards to prevent Iran from cheating on its commitments or limit it from supporting extremist groups such as Hezbollah.”

Is it the president’s contention that these influential House Democrats and 57% of American voters are in favor of “some form of war,” as he suggested in his speech today?

Related:

CNN Poll: “Majority Wants Congress To Reject Iran Deal”; AP: “Officials: Iran May Take Own Samples At Alleged Nuclear Site”‏

VIDEO: Sen. Blunt Reiterates Calls For Stopping U.S.-Iran Negotiations Until U.S. Hostages Are Released

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