CNN’s “The Lead” anchor Jake Tapper pressed Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes on President Obama’s evolving stance on Iran on Monday.
Tapper played clips of the president in 2012 saying that “the deal we’ll accept is they end their nuclear program. It’s very straightforward,” and in 2013 declaring that Iran’s underground facility should close, and “they don’t need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess” and then told Rhodes “this deal doesn’t meet any of that.”
Rhodes responded, “well, I take issue with that, Jake. Again, first of all, you have been with the president since 2009. We’ve always said that if Iran can demonstrate that its program is peaceful, because of strict verifiable limitations, that is our objective. With respect to Fordo, we are converting that facility under this deal. They will not be enriching uranium at Fordo under this agreement, and that’s an important accomplishment of the framework. Their advanced centrifuges will be taken out, so the only centrifuges that they’ll be using to enrich uranium, for the duration of this agreement are their IR-1 first generation centrifuges. They will be removing their IR-2 advanced centrifuges and they will not be installing and enriching uranium with their advanced centrifuges. So, on Fordo and on advanced centrifuges, we feel confident in what the framework lays out and what the final deal is that we’re pursuing.”
Tapper countered “but Fordo still exists, and the advanced centrifuges, there’s an end date to that 15 years.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett