President Obama downplayed Iran’s statements regarding the P5+1 as “not surprising,” and something done by their “own hardliners” before slamming GOP criticisms of the framework during a press conference in Panama City, Panama on Saturday.
Regarding some of the comments made by Iran’s leadership regarding the meaning of the framework, Obama stated “what’s always been clear is that Iran has its own politics around this issue. They have their own hardliners. They have their own countervailing impulses, in terms of whether or not to go forward with something, just as we have in our country, and so it’s not surprising to me that the Supreme Leader, or a whole bunch of other people, are going to try to characterize the deal in a way that protects their political position, but I know what was discussed in arriving at the political agreement.”
He later added, “opponents of basically any deal with Iran have constantly tried to characterize what the deal is without seeing it,” and touted the praise the framework received from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who “actually knows something about this stuff.
Obama concluded,”when I hear some, like Senator McCain recently, suggest that our Secretary of State, John Kerry, who served in the United States Senate, a Vietnam veteran, who’s provided exemplary service to this nation, is somehow less trustworthy in the interpretation of what’s in a political agreement than the Supreme Leader of Iran, that’s an indication of the degree to which partisanship has crossed all boundaries, and we’re seeing this again and again. We saw it by the letter by the 47 Senators who communicate directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, the person they say can’t be trusted at all, warning him not to trust the United States government. We have Mitch McConnell trying to tell the world ‘don’t have confidence in the US government’s abilities to fulfill any climate change pledge that we might make.’ And now we have a Senator suggesting that our Secretary of State is purposely misinterpreting the deal, and giving the Supreme Leader of the Iran the benefit of the doubt in the interpretations. You know, that’s not how we’re supposed to run foreign policy, regardless of who’s president or Secretary of State. ”
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