Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) posted documents revealing that President Obama granted Iran permission to stockpile uranium in excess of the 300 kilogram limit set by the nuclear deal. Jenna Lifhits of the Weekly Standard has the story.
The exemptions had been kept secret for almost a year. However the Trump administration reportedly intended to make them public, which may be why the IAEA decided to reveal them.
The Obama administration didn’t just keep the exemptions secret. Apparently, it denied their existence. According to Lifhits:
Some details of the exemptions had previously been leaked. The Institute for Science and International Security revealed in September that Iran had been allowed to exceed certain caps in the deal so that the country could come into compliance with the deal’s terms.
Administration officials dismissed the. . .report at the time.
In other words, the administration was dishonest. What else is new?
Why did the administration keep the exemptions secret? Probably to be able to maintain the pretense that the nuclear agreement is holding up. Any deal will hold up if violations are secretly deemed non-violations.
A source who works with Congress told the Weekly Standard:
The Obama team was just hoping to get through the next few weeks without revealing that they’ve been allowing Iran to go beyond the nuclear deal the whole time. That way the president and Secretary of State Kerry could keep declaring that Iran has been following the deal, and their echo chamber could keep saying the nuclear deal is working.
But now it’s public. The only reason that the nuclear deal is still in place is because the Obama team has been secretly rewriting to let Iran cheat. The only question is, what’s still not being told?
It’s a good question. What’s now being told is bad enough, however:
The now-confirmed exemptions reported on by ISIS include allowing Iran to keep low-enriched uranium (LEU) in various forms beyond what’s allowed under the nuclear deal. The concession applies to forms that have been “deemed unrecoverable” for use in a nuclear weapon, and Iran has promised not to build a facility to try recover them.
But if Iran breaks its promise and builds such a facility, these forms of uranium suddenly would be recoverable. This, I imagine, is why the term “unrecoverable” apparently is not in the underlying agreement — the one that was made public.
As Associated Press reporter Bradley Klapper said to John Kerry’s spokesman when word of the secret exemption first leaked:
You’re using this term that’s not in the document. I’m just trying to figure out how we can actually check that or understand what it means. If you say some things are usable but some things aren’t, but I don’t know which are which, that’s not spelled out in the document. That seems to be a new idea here.