WH Accuses Israel of Not Reading Iran Deal Before Commenting

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest appeared to accuse Israeli officials of not reading the Iran deal before criticizing it on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room.”

After hearing a statement from a senior Israeli official that was critical of the deal, Earnest responded “well, listen, Wolf, people need to look at the details of this deal before they reach a conclusion. The fact is, just to take a couple of those things right on, in terms of the plutonium reactor, the core of that reactor would be removed, destroyed, and shipped out of the country to ensure that weapons-grade plutonium could not be made at that facility, and they wouldn’t be allowed to build any other facilities like that for more than a decade. In terms of the Fordo facility, they would not be enriching uranium at that facility. And we would have inspectors there on a daily basis to confirm that. So, the fact of the matter is, Wolf we have shut down every single pathway that Iran has to a nuclear weapon, and they have agreed to inspections that would verify their compliance with the agreement. Now, there are more details to be worked out, and that’s what our experts will be focused on over the course of the next couple of months, but based on the framework that has now been established, we have set out a path where we can use diplomacy, which is the best way for us to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Earnest was also asked about the argument from some critics that lifting sanctions on Iran when it is a state sponsor of terrorism. He said, “well, Wolf, the fact of the matter is that right now, what we want to do, the most important thing we can do to deal with Iran, is try to prevent them — to ensure that they cannot develop a nuclear weapon. We do not want them to acquire a nuclear weapon. That’s exactly what this agreement would accomplish. And there is no question that all of Iran’s bad behavior would only be worsened if they are nuclear armed. And that’s why this agreement is so important. It’s also why we’ve got some more work to do. We want to make sure that we’re going to go through the details here, have our experts have the opportunity to sit across the table from Iran’s experts and verify, in very detailed fashion, that they’re going to comply with the agreement and as it’s implemented, that it can achieve our goal of ensuring that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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