Following the admission from U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy adviser that the administration duped the public to the sell the Iran deal, a series of lies surrounding the deal told by the State Department and perpetuated by the administration have been exposed in recent days.
One of the administration’s biggest selling points of the deal was the fact that Hassan Rouhani, a supposed “moderate,” had been elected president of Iran, thus paving the way for turning around Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief and entry into the “world of nations.” Rouhani was elected in June of 2013, replacing former firebrand and hardline president Ahmadinejad.
In fact, the administration had been holding official, direct talks with Iran concerning a deal as early as 2012. This fact was denied by then State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland in February of 2013 when asked a question about the direct talks by James Rosen of Fox News at a State Department press briefing.
After the truth was revealed, in December of 2013, Rosen asked the new State Dept. Spokesperson Jen Psaki if, in fact, it was the State Department’s policy to lie to the public when the administration wanted to keep such talks a secret.
At that press briefing, Psaki replied that was the case, saying, “I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress.”
That exchange between Psaki and Rosen was later scrubbed from the public record of the press conference. When asked about the scrubbing, the new State Dept. Spokesperson, Elizabeth Trudeau called the omission a “glitch.”
Later, John Kirby, the new State Dept. spokesperson, admitted, “This wasn’t a technical glitch. This was a deliberate request to excise video.”
The series of lies follow a pattern of obfuscation by the Obama administration concerning the Iran deal, of which only 21 percent of the American public support:
- Although U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry touted the toughness of the agreement during the negotiation phase due to its “snapback provisions,” in reality, we found out after the deal that these provisions can do little since the U.S. allegedly secretly promised foreign governments that their companies will not be penalized for violating new sanctions imposed on Iran.
- In addition, after the agreement was made, we found out that the likelihood of snapback sanctions being instituted is next to nil, since snapbacks require the unanimous agreement of Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy. Since the European countries immediately made plans to invest in Iran and are set to reap giant profits, they will not be voting for snapbacks.
- The public was told that the agreement forbid Iran to engage in a ballistic missile programs for eight years, since such missiles are primarily used to deliver nuclear warheads. Subsequent to Iran’s continual testing of new ballistic missiles, the U.S. has taken no action, save to say that the tests were “merely” a violation of UN resolutions (not the agreement) and that the U.S. would duly register complaints about the tests with the appropriate UN body.
- After the secret agreement was made, Kerry announced that the United Nation’s Security Council should delay its vote on the agreement until Congress has a chance to debate and vote on it. However, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samatha Power “circulated a binding draft resolution to Security Council members that would prohibit member nations from taking action to harm the agreement,” thus making a Congressional vote on the agreement worthless.
- As per the agreement, two key passages of the deal will remain secret not only from Congress but from the president of the United States, as well: inspections of the Parchin military site and negotiations on military dimensions. We later found out the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), tasked with being Iran’s watchdog, was allowing Iran to take their own samples from Parchin.
- During the negotiations, the public was told that inspections of all possible military dimensions would form the basis of the deal, making conducting such a deal safe for the world. Yet, before the deal was agreed upon, that provision was already gutted when Ayatollah Khamenei unequivocally ruled out any inspections of Iran’s military sites. The agreement was similarly gutted in nine more ways which contradicted the way it was sold to the American people.
The above examples are just a sampling of ways the public has been misled and lied to by the Obama administration about the Iran deal. Even the fact that the negotiations were sold to the public based on the election of a “moderate” Iranian president has proven to be false.
Human rights abuses in Iran have not only continued unabated, but have actually skyrocketed under the tenure of Rouhani. On Friday, Iranian authorities publicly executed five Kurdish rights activists in the northwestern city of Urmia for the vague and catch-all “crime of “conspiring against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Ironically, these activists had been documenting human rights violations by Iranian security forces against civilians in Urmia, according to a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.
The hangings follow a pattern in Iran where over 2,000 have been executed this year alone under “moderate” Rouhani’s president’s watch, the largest number of executions in Iran in the past 25 years.
Referring to the number of executions in the first half of 2015 alone (shortly after Rouhani assumed the presidency), Amnesty International noted that “death sentences in Iran are particularly disturbing because they are invariably imposed by courts that are completely lacking in independence and impartiality.”
The U.S. administration is playing a deadly game with the American people, covering up for a brutal regime that has expansionist goals across the entire Middle East and beyond. Iran is now busy carving out the region through its control of countries from Lebanon (through its terror proxy Hezbollah) to Syria (through its backing of President Bashar al-Assad) to Iraq, where its militias are, for the most part, controlling the retaking of Fallujah from the Islamic State.
This makes the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism well on its way to becoming the regional hegemon – and all with the help of the United States.
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org