Friday, August 21, 2015

Sorry Lefties, Reporting on the Iran Agreement's Secret Side Deals is Accurate

Guy Benson

In the wake of a major Associated Press-reported revelation published earlier in the week, Obama administration defenders undertook a furious campaignto discredit the core of the AP's story.  They lobbed accusations at the news organization, which pointedly declined to cower or backtrack -- publishing the full text of the secret side deal at the heart of their bombshell scoop.  Its reporters openly defied critics to deny or refute the evidence.  To put an even finer point on it, AP reporter George Jahn published a devastating news analysis piece spelling out the implications of Iran's private agreement with the IAEA, to which the US and other Western negotiating nations were not party:
An AP report has revealed that the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency has agreed with Iran that Iranian experts and equipment will be used to inspect Iran's Parchin military site,located not far from Tehran, where Iran is suspected of conducting covert nuclear weapons activity more than a decade ago...Any IAEA inspection of a country suspected of nuclear irregularities is usually carried out by agency experts. They may take swipes of residue on equipment, sample the air or take soil samples in attempts to look for signs of clandestine work on atomic arms or other potentially dangerous unreported activity.The document on Parchin, however, will let the Iranians themselves look for signs of the very activity they deny — past work on nuclear weapons. It says "Iran will provide" the agency with environmental samples. It restricts the number of samples at the suspect site to seven and to an unspecified number "outside of the Parchin complex" at a site that still needs to be decided. The U.N. agency will take possession of the samples for testing, as usual. Iran will also provide photos and video of locations to be inspected. But the document suggests that areas of sensitive military activity remain out of bounds. The draft says the IAEA will "ensure the technical authenticity of the activities" carried out by the Iranians — but it does not say how...Any indication that the IAEA is diverging from established inspection rules could weaken the agency, the world's nuclear watchdog with 164 members, and feed suspicions that it is ready to overly compromise in hopes of winding up a probe that has essentially been stalemated for more than a decade.

The Associated Press got the story right.  When pressed, the State Department refused to contest its details, punting repeatedly on the question.  Iranian self-inspection at Parchin is yet another extraordinary concession within a broader deal that heavily favors the regime.  Iran is permitted to keep its vast nuclear infrastructure intact, Western restrictions begin to automatically phase out after ten years, the inspections regime is weak, and other rogue Iranian programs are validated and permitted to flourish.  Iran is effectively asked to pause its nuclear program for a decade or so, after which it would emerge as an internationally-blessed threshold nuclearized state.  During its recent nuclear "pause" during negotiations, Tehran's stockpile increased substantially, and the regime was repeatedly flagged for cheating.  As Dan noted earlier, a new CNN poll is the latest in a string of public opinion surveys showing majority opposition to the deal, with six-in-ten Americans disapproving of President Obama's handling of US policy vis-a-vis Iran's anti-American, terrorist regime.  I'll leave you with former Virginia Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb coming out against the accord, arguing that it shifts the balance of power in Iran's favor:

The Left Is Desperately Trying to Discredit the AP Story on Iran Inspecting Itself 

 FRED FLEITZ August 20, 2015 4:05 PM I wrote on NRO this morning about an important story by AP reporter George Jahn giving details of how Iranians will conduct inspections for the IAEA as part of the nuclear agreement with Iran. Jahn’s article attracted widespread media attention and sparked outrage by critics of the nuclear agreement. It seems this story’s publication struck a nerve, since supporters of the Iran deal have been subsequently engaged in a campaign to discredit the piece and its author. IAEA director general Yukiya Amano issued a statement today in response to the AP story that said: “I can state that the arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices. They do not compromise our safeguards standards in any way. The Road-map between Iran and the IAEA is a very robust agreement, with strict timelines, which will help us to clarify past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program.” Supporters of the Iran deal are claiming Amano’s statement discredited Jahn’s story. However, Amano did not dispute its specific details on how Iranians will collect nuclear samples for the IAEA. I believe the IAEA issued this statement in response to pressure from the United States because of the backlash it sparked from U.S. opponents of the Iran deal. It’s also no surprise the IAEA chief is defending an agreement that he helped negotiate. At today’s daily State Department press conference, spokesman John Kirby responded to questions about the Jahn story by saying Amano’s statement indicates “the IAEA is giving over nuclear inspections to Iran” and that the United States is comfortable with the IAEA’s arrangements to verify the nuclear agreement. However, Kirby also refused to dispute the details of Jahn’s article or to say the Obama administration believes any aspect of it is false. After a version of Jahn’s piece was published late yesterday that omitted some details of the original story, several Iran-deal supporters claimed the AP retracted said details because the Amano statement proved they were false. By midday today, those who made this claim had egg on their faces — the AP had posted an abbreviated version of Jahn’s story last night for space reasons and subsequently reposted the original text. J Street, a far-Left group funded by George Soros, sent an e-mail to congressional offices today disputing the Jahn story with the laughable claim that inspections of the Parchin site by Iranians concern Iran’s past nuclear activity and are “a completely separate issue from the unprecedented and rigorous inspections and monitoring regime that the P5+1 agreement with Iran will put in place to ensure Iran is not developing a weapon now or in the future.” J Street also stressed the Iran is not conducting its own investigation or testing of samples, points that were not made in Jahn’s article. Max Fisher, a stalwart liberal defender of the Iran deal, made similar arguments in a rambling piece on Vox today. Fisher repeated the false claim that the AP had withdrawn parts of the Jahn story and cited liberal arms-control experts such as Jeffrey Lewis, who told him there is nothing for the IAEA to discover at Parchin “because we know what they did there.” Like the Amano and Kirby statements, the J Street and Fisher responses did not dispute the specific details in Jahn’s piece on how Iranians will collect nuclear samples for the IAEA. Moreover, both responses coincide with efforts by the Obama administration to write off the past “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program. They also ignored the likelihood that resolving questions about Iran’s past nuclear weapons work and nuclear activity at Parchin were moved to secret side deals between Iran and the IAEA because U.S. negotiators were unable to resolve these issues during the nuclear talks. The J Street and Fisher attacks on the Jahn article also sidestepped the belief of many experts that it is crucial to conclusively resolve the possible military dimensions issue to establish a baseline for verifying the Iran nuclear agreement. Former Department of Energy official William Tobey explained this in a July 15 Wall Street Journal when he wrote “for inspections to be meaningful, Iran would have to completely and correctly declare all its relevant nuclear activities and procurement, past and present.” Finally, some supporters of the deal took to Twitter today to attack Jahn’s competence as a journalist and to accuse him of being a tool of the Mossad and AIPAC. Such reprehensible personal attacks are a continuation of the scorched-earth tactics Iran-deal supporters have used to smear opponents of the Iran deal such as congressional Republicans and senators Schumer and Menendez. I’ve had the privilege to meet George Jahn. He’s a class act and a talented and respected journalist.  I have relied on his high-quality reporting of IAEA and nuclear issues for many years. The attacks on the Jahn article are entirely false. It is my hope that the news media will stand by him and not fall for this desperate effort to disprove his important story about the absurd plan to allow Iran to collect its own nuclear samples for the IAEA.

Read more at:


Accused Russian Spy and Iranian Lobbyist Charge AP With Lying About Iran Side Deal

Sometimes the source of information says more about a flimsy story than the information itself. That's the real story behind Friday's ridiculous accusation that the Associated Press forged the text of the IAEA side deal with Iran.

It started with the Director of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’ Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme (SIPRI), Tariq Rauf. Interviewed by the Huffington Post, Rauf declared the AP document looked like forgery.

According to a 2010 Washington Post article, Tariq Rauf was “outed” by Russian defector Sergei Tretyakov (who ran Russian spying operations in New York during the 1990s) as a Russian spy. The piece mentions that former Post reporter Pete Earley wrote a book with Tretyakov about his espionage career, where the former spymaster revealed several people in Canada and the U.S. as Russian spies by their spy code names.

Earley wrote,  "Sergei was called 'the most important spy for the U.S. since the collapse of the Soviet Union' by an FBI official in my book. Unfortunately, because much of what he said is still being used by U. S. counter-intelligence officers, it will be years before the true extent of his contribution can be made public — if ever."

In the book, Tretyakov fingered several people in Canada and the United States by their code names as Russian agents:
One of the most prominent was a Pakistani-born Canadian scientist who Tretyakov identified only as “ARTHUR,” but who other authoritative sources in 2008 identified for me as Tariq Rauf, the principal official at the International Atomic Energy Agency responsible for determining whether Iran is building a nuclear weapon.

In the first of two interviews, Rauf declined an opportunity to flatly deny Tretyakov’s accusation. He also declined to say whether he knew or had ever met Tretyakov, who worked under diplomatic cover in Canada.

But in a second exchange, by e-mail, Rauf said he had “never” worked “for any intel types whatsoever.“

“I have worked for government and privately funded think tanks, and have been an academic researcher all through -- 'til joining my current employer, where I am an impartial loyal international civil servant,” he said.

Author Earley said he had examined Tretyakov’s records — photographs, e-mail, even a restaurant napkin on which ARTHUR scribbled notes about Ukrainian missiles — to back up every allegation in the book.

“If they want to sue us, fine,” said Earley of all the Canadians Tretyakov fingered as spies. “We’ll just run Sergei up there with our stuff and see what happens.”

Rauf never filed suit.
As for his criticism of the AP document, Rauf points to phrases used in the document which are not part of the usual IAEA vernacular. The one being used by apologists for the rogue nation most often is that the Islamic "Republic" of Iran, was referred to once erroniously in the draft document as the Islamic "State" of Iran.

Of course, Rauf neglects to mention that the document was, indeed, a draft-- but that its main points survived any subsequent revisions. In addition, the AP report is based on a transcription, as its reporters weren't allowed to take possession of the classified document.

The charge that the document is a forgery was amplified by the National Iranian American Council's (NIAC) Trita Parsi, who suggested that Israeli Premier Netanyahu gave the Associated Press the phony document.

Many other supporters of the P5+ deal picked up that meme blaming the usual suspects (the Jews). Not one of them mentioned the fact that the U.N. itself didn't dispute the authenticity of the side deal text; just that it was being misinterpreted.

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 2.39.33 PM

It is little surprise that NIAC would trash the Associated Press document and blame Israel, In 2009, the Washington Times reported that Parsi had arranged meetings between [Mohammad] Javad Zarif--then Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations--and Members of Congress. One former law enforcement official interviewed by Lake said that such activity would, “require that person or entity to register as an agent of a foreign power.” Lake uses those and other documents to show that NIAC should be registered as an agent of the Iranian Government.

In 2008 NIAC sued blogger Hassan Daioleslam for defamation because he accused them of being a front group for the Iranian regime. But when Daioleslam counter-sued and asked for "discovery" documents, NIAC ignored parts of the court order and, per Business Insider, was cited by the court:
"for failing to produce calendar records documenting the activities of key employees, refusing to divulge existence of four computers, misrepresenting how its computer system was configured, failing to explain why it withheld thousands of e-mails from one of its key employees, delaying the sharing of its membership lists, and altering an important document after the lawsuit was brought."
Many believed they were trying to hide the truth. In the end, the court ruled that NIAC and Mr. Parsi certainly looked like lobbyists (advocates) for Iran:
NIAC thought it had a case against Daioleslam. The US District Court for the District of Columbia disagreed, finding in 2012 that the work of NIAC president and founder Tritra Parsi was "not inconsistent with the idea that he was first and foremost an advocate for the regime." The judge essentially found it was conceivable that NIAC could reasonably be accused of lobbying on behalf of Iran, so Daioleslam's blog posts weren't defamatory.
When you examine where the charges came from, the question of whether the Associated Press faked the side agreement with Iran is an easy one to answer.

No comments:

Post a Comment