NEW YORK — James Clapper, director of National Intelligence under the Obama administration, issued rare criticism of aspects of the Obama-brokered international nuclear deal with Iran.
While defending the agreement as making the world “a lot safer,” Clapper revealed in his recently released book that he “felt we had given away too much for what we’d gotten from Iran.”
Clapper also wrote that he wished the deal’s so-called sunset clause were longer than ten years. The accord contains key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program that expire in a decade, with deal opponents arguing the agreement would allow Tehran to enrich uranium to weapons grade after the timetable for the restrictions passes.
In the book, titled, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence, Clapper wrote (emphasis added):
When the final Iran nuclear deal—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—was signed on July 14, I knew that Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu was probably furious, and truthfully, I, too, felt we had given away too much for what we’d gotten from Iran, but at the same time, I still believed the world had just become a lot safer. Iran regained access to their $100 billion or so that had been frozen by sanctions. In return, they shipped out all of their uranium that was enriched beyond the 3.67 percent mark that capped “low-enriched uranium,” and 15,000 pounds of their low-enriched uranium, leaving just 660 pounds to be used for nuclear power and medical research.
They also placed more than two thirds of their first-generation centrifuges into storage monitored by IAEA, along with all of their advanced centrifuges necessary to advance uranium beyond a low-enriched state. They poured concrete into their heavy-water facility in Arak, destroying it, and they allowed unprecedented surveillance—cameras and sensors—into their sole remaining nuclear facility in Natanz. Iran agreed to keep all of these stipulations in place for ten years, a period I wished were longer, but that was not my call. None of this turned Iran into a “shining city on a hill,” but that was never the intent. We had taken a potential nuclear weapon out of their hands for at least a decade, and I was proud of the role the IC had played in supporting negotiations in the three months since the initial framework had been settled.
President Trump last month announced that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Written with research by Joshua Klein.