It is truly astounding how top officials in the Obama administration try to characterize lies told by the president and his aides and advocates as something other than what they clearly are. Case in point — U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s description of a promise repeatedly made by Obama and his head cheerleaders regarding the Iran nuke deal as it was being negotiated.
Despite a number of assurances that the agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran would include “anytime, anywhere” inspections of known or suspected nuclear facilities, Sherman now says those pledges weren’t really promises at all — they were simply “popular rhetoric” necessary to move the pact forward. According to a bombshell article in The Jerusalem Post, Sherman — who played a key role in the negotiations that led to the deal just approved by Obama — told Israeli diplomatic reporters:
I think this is one of those circumstances where we have all been rhetorical from time to time.
So, according to a principle negotiator who sat at Secretary of State John Kerry’s side through the nuke talks in Vienna, the assurances that international inspectors would be able to go “anywhere, anytime” in Iran to make sure Tehran wasn’t cheating were simply “rhetorical” flourishes and not statements of fact. You know, the kind of exaggerations or misrepresentations we all make as we’re trying to get something we want.
“That phrase, ‘anytime, anywhere,’ is something that became popular rhetoric, but I think people understood that if the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] felt it had to have access, and had a justification for that access, that it would be guaranteed, and that is what happened,” Sherman was quoted in the Post as explaining.
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But what about that “popular rhetoric” that President Obama put forth not only to the American public but to our international allies as a necessary element of any deal he would accept?
Bloomberg Politics, in an April 20, 2015, article, noted:
Nuclear inspectors will need unfettered access in Iran as part of a deal to lift economic sanctions, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said a day after an Iranian general said military sites must be off limits.
“We expect to have anywhere, anytime access,” Moniz, a nuclear physicist who negotiated the technical details of a framework nuclear accord, said Monday in a meeting with editors and reporters at Bloomberg’s Washington office.
Then there were the times Ben Rhodes, a top Obama national security advisor, told various media outlets that “anytime, anywhere” inspections of Iranian sites where nuke work might be underway were an essential part of any pact. The Times of Israel, in an April 6, 2015, article, reported Rhodes claimed on Israeli TV that “the new arrangements ensure ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections of any and every Iranian facility — contradicting complaints by Israel that no such provision is guaranteed.”
To add even more fuel to the firestorm erupting over Obama’s Iran deal — in addition to the deception about the “anytime, anywhere” nuclear inspection opportunities — the president, despite having signed a law giving Congress the right to review and approve or disapprove of the deal, says he’s heading first to the United Nations for its okay, making a number of leading lawmakers in Washington increasingly upset.
President Barack Obama has a new hurdle to selling his Iran deal on Capitol Hill: Bipartisan opposition to his decision to submit the nuclear accord to the United Nations before Congress votes on the agreement.
Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said on Thursday afternoon that they disagreed with the U.S. pushing the agreement through the UN before Congress votes this September to approve or reject it, a troubling development for an administration still trying to win over both men.
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