Worries Persist After Release of Iran Nuclear-Pact Terms

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 17, 2014, 7:21 a.m.

U.S. law­maker con­cerns per­sisted about talks with Ir­an fol­low­ing Thursday’s cir­cu­la­tion of de­tails about the new in­ter­im deal, the Wall Street Journ­al re­ports.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion sum­mar­ized pub­licly the tech­nic­al un­der­stand­ing reached this week with Ir­an, and provided to U.S. law­makers what the Journ­al de­scribed as the full 30-page text. While the im­ple­ment­a­tion road map is un­clas­si­fied, U.S. of­fi­cials said its text could be re­viewed only by mem­bers of Con­gress and their top aides with se­cur­ity clear­ances.

Con­gres­sion­al in­siders said the elab­or­a­tion about this week’s tech­nic­al un­der­stand­ing prob­ably would not go far in quelling con­tro­versy over a Sen­ate sanc­tions push that the White House warns could thwart dip­lomacy over Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram. The Middle East­ern na­tion on Sunday fi­nal­ized plans with six oth­er coun­tries for en­for­cing a half-year nuc­le­ar ac­cord reached in Novem­ber.

A num­ber of le­gis­lat­ive aides said the more de­tailed ma­ter­i­als sent to Con­gress do not fully ex­plain how out­side powers could find Ir­an to be in breach of the Novem­ber pact. Last year’s deal, which is sched­uled to take ef­fect on Monday, im­poses a num­ber of re­stric­tions on Tehran’s nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies and provides it with lim­ited re­lief from pun­it­ive eco­nom­ic meas­ures.

“The most dis­con­cert­ing thing is how vague it is — there is no clear com­pli­ance mech­an­ism in place,” the Wall Street Journ­al quoted an un­named Sen­ate aide as said.

Law­makers also have raised a re­lated con­cern that Ir­an could gain un­due au­thor­ity to judge its own com­pli­ance with the ac­cord through its role in a planned “joint com­mis­sion.”

The Los Angeles Times in a Thursday re­port de­scribed the secret tech­nic­al agree­ment provided to Cap­it­ol Hill as be­ing just nine pages long, in con­trast to the 30 pages of text de­scribed by the Wall Street Journ­al.

One high-level Sen­ate staffer told the Times that le­gis­lat­ors al­most cer­tainly would want more de­tails than just re­ceived.

“It’s nine pages long — what on earth?” the in­sider said.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear how to square the dif­fer­ences in the two news­pa­pers’ de­scrip­tions.

An Ir­a­ni­an dip­lo­mat this week said the sides had ne­go­ti­ated a 30-page ad­dendum to the en­force­ment plan. Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials, though, have re­jec­ted con­ten­tions that there are un­dis­closed un­der­stand­ings.

Mean­while, some mem­bers of Con­gress said they were more wor­ried after re­ceiv­ing spe­cif­ics about the deal on Thursday from U.S. Un­der Sec­ret­ary of State Wendy Sher­man, Wash­ing­ton’s seni­or del­eg­ate in the nuc­le­ar dis­cus­sions, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

“I’m more dis­turbed more than ever after the brief­ing,” said Sen­at­or Lind­sey Gra­ham (R-S.C.), one back­er of an Ir­an-sanc­tions bill un­der con­sid­er­a­tion in the up­per cham­ber.

What We're Following See More »
McMullin Leads in New Utah Poll
5 hours ago

Evan McMul­lin came out on top in a Emer­son Col­lege poll of Utah with 31% of the vote. Donald Trump came in second with 27%, while Hillary Clin­ton took third with 24%. Gary John­son re­ceived 5% of the vote in the sur­vey.

Quinnipiac Has Clinton Up by 7
5 hours ago

A new Quin­nipi­ac Uni­versity poll finds Hillary Clin­ton lead­ing Donald Trump by seven percentage points, 47%-40%. Trump’s “lead among men and white voters all but” van­ished from the uni­versity’s early Oc­to­ber poll. A new PPRI/Brook­ings sur­vey shows a much bigger lead, with Clinton up 51%-36%. And an IBD/TIPP poll leans the other way, showing a vir­tu­al dead heat, with Trump tak­ing 41% of the vote to Clin­ton’s 40% in a four-way match­up.

Trump: I’ll Accept the Results “If I Win”
6 hours ago
Duterte Throws His Lot in with China
9 hours ago

During a state visit to China, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte "declared an end to his country’s strategic alignment with the United States and pledged cooperation with Beijing." Duterte told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he's "realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world—China, Philippines, and Russia. It’s the only way.”

Hatch Considering 2018 Re-election Run
10 hours ago

Reports say that Orrin Hatch, who in 2012 declared that he would retire at the end of his term, is considering going back on that pledge to run for an eighth term. Hatch, who is the longest serving Republican in the Senate, is unlikely to make any official declaration until after this election cycle is completed.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.