Congress will investigate whether administration lied about terms of Iran deal
The gap between how the administration sold the Iran nuclear deal to Congress last summer and the reality of how the deal is being interpreted today has become so great that Congress will hold hearings to determine if the White House lied about what was in the deal.
In fact, it's not even close.
From inspection procedures to secret protocols to how sanctions relief for Iran is being implemented, what the administration told us last summer before the vote is directly at odds with how the terms of the agreement have been unfolding.
The concerns come after statements from top officials last week suggesting that Iran is set to receive greater weapons and sanctions relief, moves that the administration had promised Congress would never take place as White House officials promoted the deal last summer.
“When multiple officials—including Secretary Kerry, Secretary Lew, and Ambassador Mull—testify in front of Members of Congress, we are inclined to believe them,” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) told the Washington Free Beacon.
“However, the gap between their promises on the Iran nuclear deal and today’s scary reality continues to widen. We are now trying to determine whether this was intentional deception on the part of the administration or new levels of disturbing acquiescence to the Iranians,” Pompeo said.
Congress is believed to be investigating what insiders described to the Free Beacon as a range of areas in which administration officials may have understated the breadth of concessions made to the Islamic Republic when trying to persuade lawmakers to sign off on the final deal.
Multiple disputes have surfaced in the last week.
In one dispute, congressional leaders are concerned that the administration no longer considers recent Iranian ballistic missile tests a “violation” of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which codifies the nuclear deal.
Top administration officials including Secretary of State John Kerry vowed to Congress that Iran would be legally prohibited from carrying out ballistic missile tests under the resolution.
Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., shifted course last week, refusing to call recent Iranian launches a “violation” in a letter she signed criticizing those launches.
A second dispute centers around recent statements from Treasury Department officials suggesting that the administration is now set to grant Iran non-nuclear sanctions relief, including indirect access to the U.S. financial system, weeks after top Iranian officials began demanding this type of sanctions relief.
Top administration figures, including Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, had promised Congress that years-old restrictions barring Iran from accessing the U.S. financial system in any way would remain in place even after the nuclear deal.
But new concerns have raised alarm bells among lawmakers, who fear that the administration will ease longstanding restrictions on Iran.
All Republicans in Congress voted against the deal, but GOP senators came up short of the 60 votes needed to debate the agreement. And it's unclear if they would have been able to secure the 67 votes needed to override any presidential veto.
But how would many of those Democrats felt if they had been told that any violations by Iran of the agreement would be kept secret? How many Democrats would have changed their vote if they had known that Iran would have weeks to prepare for any IAEA inspection? Would the agreement have been scuttled if Democrats had known that the administration would change its mind and allow Iran access to the U.S. banking system?
In fact, on every major issue of contention that emerged following the "interim agreement" with Iran, Obama and Kerry relented and conceded to the Iranian position. Remember when sanctions would be lifted over a period of several years? Now it's just a few months. Remember the "snap inspections"? Out the window. The IAEA is even allowing Iran to take its own samples from the Parchin facility.
Total, complete cave-in. I hope Congress exposes these lies and the extraordinary weakness demonstrated by the administration in the face of the fanatical terrorists who rule Iran.