(Washington, D.C.) — The Obama White House appears struck a previously undisclosed “side deal” with Iran over the nuclear issue, despite the fact that just yesterday a State Department spokeswoman denied such a deal existed.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting the existence of a secret 30-page document the spells out understandings between the U.S. and Iran regarding expectations of what Iran can and cannot do with its nuclear program, understanding not included in the official, public deal that is being negotiated in Geneva.
The Times indicates that according to the “secret side deal” worked out by the Obama administration:
- not a single Iranian nuclear facility will be shut down
- Iran will continue to enrich uranium
- Iran’s nuclear research operations will actually expand; and
- new, state-of-the-art centrifuges will be allowed to come on-line in Iran
Is this accurate? Is it the full picture? Will the document be released to the public, and to the full U.S. government and our allies?
Members of Congress are only just hearing about this now, and have yet to react.
No official reaction yet from Israel yet either, though the existence of a secret deal with Iran could add to the tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu governments over how to stop the mullahs in Tehran from being able to build operational nuclear warheads.
More on this story as it develops.
In the meantime, here are excerpts from the breaking news story out of Los Angeles:
“Key elements of a new nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers are contained in an informal, 30-page text not yet publicly acknowledged by Western officials, Iran’s chief negotiator said Monday,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Abbas Araqchi disclosed the existence of the document in a Persian-language interview with the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.”
“The new agreement, announced over the weekend, sets out a timetable for how Iran and the six nations, led by the United States, will implement a deal reached in November that is aimed at restraining Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” the Times notes. “When officials from Iran and the world powers announced that they had completed the implementing agreement, they didn’t release the text of the deal, nor did they acknowledge the existence of an informal addendum. In the interview, Araqchi referred to the side agreement using the English word ‘nonpaper,’ a diplomatic term used for an informal side agreement that doesn’t have to be disclosed publicly. The nonpaper deals with such important details as the operation of a joint commission to oversee how the deal is implemented and Iran’s right to continue nuclear research and development during the next several months, he said.”…..
“Asked late Monday about the existence of the informal nonpaper, White House officials referred the question to the State Department,” reported the Times. “A State Department comment wasn’t immediately available…..A State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, denied later Monday that there was any secret agreement.”….
“In his interview, Araqchi touched on the sensitive issue of how much latitude Iran will have to continue its nuclear research and development,” said the Times. “U.S. officials said Sunday that Iran would be allowed to continue existing research and development projects and with pencil-and-paper design work, but not to advance research with new projects. Araqchi, however, implied that the program would have wide latitude.”
“No facility will be closed; enrichment will continue, and qualitative and nuclear research will be expanded,” he said. “All research into a new generation of centrifuges will continue.”