Kerry’s refusal to be “fixated” on Iran’s former nuclear misdeeds fits the US pattern of indulging Tehran

US Secretary of State John Kerry remarked Wednesday that the “US and its negotiating partners are not fixated on the issue of so-called possible military dimensions [of the Iranian nuclear program] because they already have a complete picture of Iran’s past activities.”

This comment was a compendium of contradictions and untruths.

debkafile lists five instances to demonstrate the US has been in the dark over Iranian nuclear activities – past and present:

1. Iran’s military complex at Parchin remains a closed book despite repeated international demands to check on the nuclear detonation tests reported to have been conducted there. The US and Israel are left with suspicions, no facts, although Kerry declared: “We know what they did.”

2. At the Fordo underground site, all that is known for sure is that the Iranians are enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges – which they admitted after they were found out. But nothing is known about activities in other parts of the subterranean facility.

3.  Iran is known to be operating secret sites. Once again, strong suspicions are not supported by solid evidence which remains out of reach.

4.  US intelligence has not gained a full picture of Iran’s nuclear collaboration with North Korea or their shared plans for the development of ballistic missiles. Every now and then, delegations of nuclear scientists pay reciprocal visits to each other’s facilities, but no one has got to the bottom of the secret transactions between them. The question is why does this collaboration continue if Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon? And how far as it got? There are no answers to either of these questions.

5. Neither the US nor the international inspectors have gained direct access to the Iranian scientists employed on military nuclear projects, aside from the information reaching the US and Israel from Iranian defectors. All applications to interview these scientists were either turned away or ignored by Tehran.

So when Kerry claims that the negotiators “already have a complete picture of Iran’s past activities,” he is in fact letting Iran off the hook for providing information or even opening up its suspect facilities to international monitors, least of all the “intrusive inspections” promised by President Barack Obama.
For the sacred goal of getting a final nuclear deal signed with Iran by the June 30 deadline, it is permissible to brush these embarrassing “details” under the carpet and ignore troubling questions.

On June 15, Republican Sen. Bob Corker, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to President Obama saying: “It is breathtaking to see how far from your original goals and statements the P5+1 have come during negotiations with Iran.” He went on to say that negotiators “have moved” from trying to strike a 20-year agreement to a 10-year one and "seem ready to let Tehran continue to develop its ballistic missile effort and maintain research and development for advanced nuclear centrifuges.”
Senator Cork concludes: “The stakes here are incredibly high and the security implications of these negotiations are difficult to overstate.”

However, the Obama administration’s concessions to buy a deal do not stop there. They go still further. debkafile’ sources reveal that Washington is preparing to give way on the snap inspections mandated by the Additional Protocol, and agree to limit inspections to facilities unilaterally designated “nuclear” by Tehran and only after two weeks' notice.

But President Obama has made his most substantial concession yet, by accepting Tehran’s demand to divide the final accord into two parts. The first would be made public and the second, carrying the technical protocols, would be confidential. The senior US negotiator Undersecretary Wendy Sherman fought hard to have both parts of the accord released, explaining that the president could not otherwise get it through Congress. But she was overruled.
The US president has employed the same stratagem on the issue of sanctions. While declaring that they will not be lifted until Iran complies with its commitments, he has allowed American companies to enter into business negotiations with Iranian firms.

The 50 pages of the nuclear accord’s practical annexes embody the adage that the devil is in the detail. But president Obama has chosen to keep it secret from Congress, the American public and US allies, while Iran is given free rein to pursue its objectives.

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