(JNi.media) Did Secretary of State John Kerry lie when he told the press and a number of legislators that the coming Iran nuclear deal involved “Anytime Anywhere” inspections? Did he offer this version of the truth while knowing too well the most the Iranians were going to accept was a 24-day warning before an inspection could be carried out?
Some Congressional leaders have told Bloomberg that they had been under the impression that Kerry was pressing Iran to allow UN inspectors access “anytime, anywhere” to sites suspected of nuclear activity.
Kerry denies it. When John Dickerson, host of Face The Nation asked him point blank on Sunday: “What happened, Mr. Secretary, with anytime, anywhere?” Kerry answered: “Never — this is a term that honestly I never heard in the four years that we were negotiating. It was not on the table.”
Kerry proceeded to lecture that “there’s no such thing in arms control as anytime, anywhere. There isn’t any nation in the world, none, that has an anytime, anywhere. And the truth is, what we always were negotiating was an end to the interminable delays that people had previously [imposed].”
In other words, in Kerry’s view, the 3-week span between requesting access to a facility and the inspectors being let in, is a victory of sorts. There will be no more delays — after those 3 week notices. Now “we have a finite time period. That’s never happened before. And we have one nation’s ability to take this to the Security Council to enforce it. That is unique. And we think it was a huge accomplishment to be able to get this finite period,” Kerry insisted.
Dickerson asked, “Just to check the record here, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, said in April “you will have anywhere, anytime, 24-7 access.”
Kerry responded: “Well, we do, but — we have access to Fordow, access to Natanz, access to these places.”
“I don’t know if he was referring everywhere, but an access resolution of an IAEA challenge for a suspected facility that’s undeclared, this is a breakthrough agreement which has a finite period that our intel community, and our scientists — and here is one of the foremost nuclear scientists in the country telling us that that is — there is no way for them to hide that material or do away in 24 days,” Kerry repeated.
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker told Bloomberg: “I could have sworn that he had said that, but I know it’s been a topic of discussion for a long, long time.”
Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Richard Burr told Bloomberg: “I think I heard Secretary Kerry use that term once.”
“Any lack of access, delay in time, or lack of being able to verify should be a concern to us,” Burr added.
Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-Ca) holds that the deal should assure “anytime, anywhere” inspections.
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Ca) told the House in June: “The goal of the ongoing P5+1 negotiations is to guarantee that Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. As Congress assesses the final deal, I am going to draw upon a recent publication which is entitled, ‘Negotiations with Iran: Five Requirements for a Good Deal,’ which details the following five components: one, mechanisms supporting strong verification, including anytime, anywhere inspections of all Iranian nuclear and military facilities…”
Back in April, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who negotiated the technical details of a framework nuclear accord, told Bloomberg: “We expect to have anywhere, anytime access.”
On Sunday, Dickerson asked Prime Minister Netanyahu: “President Obama once said that he had Israel’s back. Do you think that he’s betrayed you here with this deal?”