Susan Rice Admits Secret ‘Side Deals’ with Iran

Susan Rice (Chip Somodevilla / Getty)
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice admitted the existence of two secret “side deals” between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to accompany the main Iran nuclear deal agreed last week between Iran and the P5+1 powers (U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China).

The two secret deals, which cover the Parchin military site and the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program, were revealed Wednesday by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Mike Pompeo (R-KS), who had learned of the deals after meeting July 17 with IAEA in Vienna.

In a press release, Cotton and Pomepeo said they had been told that the deals “will remain secret and will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the public.” That, they said, violated the Obama administration’s commitment to provide the full text of the Iran deal to Congress for consideration under the Corker Bill (The Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act).

Pompeo said:

This agreement is the worst of backroom deals. In addition to allowing Iran to keep its nuclear program, missile program, American hostages, and terrorist network, the Obama administration has failed to make public separate side deals that have been struck for the ‘inspection’ of one of the most important nuclear sites—the Parchin military complex. Not only does this violate the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, it is asking Congress to agree to a deal that it cannot review.

The failure to disclose the content of these side agreements begs the question, ‘What is the Obama administration hiding?’ Even members of Congress who are sympathetic to this deal cannot and must not accept a deal we aren’t even aware of. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand up and demand to see the complete deal.

Cotton added:

In failing to secure the disclosure of these secret side deals, the Obama administration is asking Congress and the American people to trust, but not verify. What we cannot do is trust the terror-sponsoring, anti-American, outlaw regime that governs Iran and that has been deceiving the world on its nuclear weapons work for years. Congress’s evaluation of this deal must be based on hard facts and full information. That we are only now discovering that parts of this dangerous agreement are being kept secret begs the question of what other elements may also be secret and entirely free from public scrutiny.

Rice acknowledged the deals Wednesday and told reporters that their contents would be revealed to lawmakers in classified briefinds, according to The Hill.

Update: Cotton and Pompeo have written a letter to Obama, pointing out that he has failed to comply with the Corker bill and asking him to transmit the two side deals immediately:

Failure to produce these two side agreements leaves Congress blind on critical information regarding Iran’s potential path to being a nuclear power and will have detrimental consequences for the ability of members to assess the JCPOA. We request you transmit these two side agreements to Congress immediately so we may perform our duty to assess the many important questions related to the JCPOA.


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