Secretary of State John Kerry misled the House Foreign Affairs Committee in his attempt to defend the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, claiming in his opening statement that Iran had complied with the interim agreement “completely and totally,” and that Iran was “required” by the deal to ratify a key agreement that would prevent it from developing dangerous nuclear technologies in the future.
In fact, Iran violated parts of the interim agreement, and there is no guarantee that it will ratify the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran failed to comply with a condition of the interim Joint Plan of Action that required it to convert excess amounts of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride into uranium dioxide. Experts at the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) concluded that Iran had only met 9 percent of what was expected.
The State Department tried to spin that violation. As the ISIS experts noted: “When it became clear that Iran could not meet its commitment to convert the LEU into uranium dioxide, the United States revised its criteria for Iran meeting its obligations.”
In addition, Iran committed several other violations, both of the letter and the spirit of the interim agreement. In one case, the Obama administration itself complained to the United Nations when Iran tried to buy plutonium for the reactor at Arak. So Kerry simply lied.
Moreover, Iran is not “required” to pass the Additional Protocol, which would provide for indefinite monitoring of Iran’s nuclear activity. As Breitbart News has noted in the past, the actual text of the Iran deal allows the Iranian regime, and the Iranian parliament, to reject the Additional Protocol: “Iran will seek, consistent with the Constitutional roles of the President and Parliament, ratification of the Additional Protocol.”
Note that while the interim deal provided a one-year deadline for Iran to ratify the Additional Protocol, the final agreement has no such deadline. And compliance under the Additional Protocol is voluntary, in any case. There is no way to guarantee Iranian compliance.
Kerry, appearing with Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, was met with skepticism from both Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY). Royce said that the Iran deal had traded “permanent sanctions relief for temporary nuclear restrictions.”
Kerry countered that there was no real alternative to the deal, adding that for all the concern about what Iran could do when the deal expired after “15 years,” rejecting the agreement would mean that “15 years” would begin “tomorrow.”
Update: Later in the hearing, Kerry repeated the false claim that “after 15 years, they have to live by the Additional Protocol.” He also claimed that Iran is “dismantling two-thirds” of their nuclear program. While centrifuges will be taken offline, none will be dismantled.