By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
More Democrats are falling in line to support the Iranian nuclear deal, despite recent revelations further exposing the farcical nature of the inspections regime on which it depends. And according to The New York Times, nearly everyone they talk about in this article who either is or might be opposing the deal is doing so because of their loyalty to Israel, or because they come from a state where “anti-Obama sentiments” are “feverish.” It’s never based on the merits. That’s only the people who support the deal, the article implies, and those who are voting with Obama. They are supposedly the principled ones, voting out of “optimism” or based on the merits of the deal. This line of attack is right out of the Obama playbook, blaming Israel and the Jews for opposition to Obama’s foreign policy legacy, which is truly a disaster in the making.
We pointed out many of the inherent problems in this deal last month, and listed many of the reasons it should be defeated in Congress. Even though, according tothis AP article, “A congressional vote of disapproval would not prevent Obama from acting on his own to start putting the accord in place. While he probably would take some heavy criticism, this course would let him add the foreign policy breakthrough to his second-term list of accomplishments.”
This new push for Democratic endorsements for the deal comes at a time when the details of one of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) secret deals with Iran have gone public, and it becomes all the more apparent that Iran is not going to be held accountable for its past nuclear activities. It makes it all the more unlikely that Iran will face tough scrutiny from the international community, or the IAEA, under the framework’s proposed inspections regime.
The Associated Press and Fox News have reported that with the IAEA’s second of two secret side deals, Iran will, essentially, be allowed to inspect itself at Parchin. But these news outlets and others aren’t covering an equally important development.
IAEA director general Yukiya “Amano was in Washington recently to brief members of Congress and others about the recently inked nuclear accord,”reported Adam Kredo for The Washington Free Beacon on August 18. “However, he did not discuss the nature of side deals with Iran that the United States is not permitted to know about.”
“Iran apparently threatened Amano in a letter meant to ensure he did not reveal specific information about the nature of nuclear inspections going forward, according to Iranian AEOI [Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization] spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi,” reports Kredo.
Notably, many media outlets—including The New York Times and Washington Post—have not covered this threat against Amano. The Fox News and Associated Press articles covering the Parchin side deal do not mention Iran’s threatening letter.
Instead, the AP’s George Jahn gives the false impression that he broke news regarding the Parchin side deal with his August 19 article. Jahn labeled this a “revelation” that has “newly riled Republican lawmakers.” What was new was that the AP had actually seen the draft agreement, and reported based on that.
In reality, however, Senators James Risch (R-ID) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) both had confronted administration officials about the IAEA’s secret deals with Iran in July during a Senate hearing.
“Parchin was designed and operated as an explosive testing place where they designed a detonation trigger for a nuclear weapon,” said Senator Risch during that July 23 hearing. “What you guys agreed to was, we can’t even take samples there. IAEA can’t take samples there. They’re going to be able to test by themselves. … How in the world can you have a nation like Iran doing their own testing?”
Senator Menendez later asked Secretary of State John Kerry whether this was true, and was told by the Secretary that he could neither confirm nor deny that assertion. It would be better to be fully briefed in a classified setting, Kerry said. But, “The IAEA has said that they are satisfied that they will be able to do this in a way that does not compromise their needs and that adequately gets the answers that they need,” Kerry asserted.
The Times dismissed this issue in its August 20 article, focusing instead on President Obama’s pro-deal letter to Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Nadler endorsed the deal the next day.
Republicans have “pounced” on this news of inadequate enforcement, but “that issue involved a longstanding effort by the IAEA to complete a report on past Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear weapon, an important part of the international effort to pressure Iran,” argues Jonathan Weisman near the end of his article in the Times.
“It has little to do with verification of the nuclear accord between Iran and the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China,” he writes. “That verification regime is laid out in the actual nuclear accord and does not rely on Iran’s self-monitoring.”
If this side deal has little to do with the accord, then why list it within the framework in the first place? The deal requires Iran to work with the IAEA on “outstanding issues” as part of listed “transparency and confidence building measures.”
Iran, therefore, is under considerable pressure to appear to now be cooperating with the IAEA.
The Washington Examiner argues in an editorial that “Such an arrangement would give the Iranian regime effective control of the process, making inspections of this site a farce. If this is so, then the Obama administration has agreed to give Iran massive sanctions relief, amounting to $140 billion, in exchange for little more than promises that cannot be verified independently.”
Instead of increasing transparency, Iran has resorted to attempting to coerce its own inspectors. Rather than ignoring or downplaying this nation’s continued stonewalling, the mainstream media might want to reconsider their blind support for this flawed, unworkable deal.