The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the insult to the intelligence of the American public – the preposterous claim offered by the State Department that President Obama did not concede in a recent interview that, in 13 to 15 years, Iran will have an almost immediate nuclear breakout capacity as a result of the framework deal recently negotiated by the P5 +1 (U.S., U.K, France, China & Russia + Germany) and Iran in Lausanne. Even if this Iran deal would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, what is being ignored is the critical point that this deal will immediately give significant or complete sanctions relief to provide tens of billions of dollars for increased sponsorship of terrorism by Iran. This is why it is so important for the United States and the P5 + 1 to require Iran to end their funding and arming of terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria’s Assad before any deal is finalized. Only this very week, Iran sent tens of millions of dollars to Hamas to pay for the building of more terror tunnels and missiles for use against Israel.
In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), in which President Obama went into detail justifying the framework deal U.S. and other negotiators had worked out with the Iranian regime, Obama admitted as a “relevant fear” that, as a consequence of the Lausanne framework deal, “In year 13, 14, 15 [from this year], they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.”
Accordingly, under the scenario outlined by President Obama, in 13-15 years, there would be no way to physically prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, and they would be able to go nuclear at will.
Then, in a State Department press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf falsely and preposterously claimed that this was not at all what the president said. Instead, she contended that the president was outlining the situation that would exist if there were no deal with Iran. Ms. Harf said, “That quote, I think, that people are referring to –– I think his words were a little mixed up there, but what he was referring to was a scenario in which there was no deal. And if you go back and look at the transcript, I know it’s a little confusing. I spoke to the folks at the White House and read it a few times. It’s my understanding that he was referring to –– even though it was a little muddled in the words – to a scenario in which there was no deal.”
Queried further as to whether she was thus claiming that, within framework of a deal based on the Lausanne framework, Iran would still be unable to break out to create a nuclear weapon in less than a year, Ms. Harf waffled, claiming that the Administration lacked certainty regarding what would occur after 10 years. “Well, as we’ve said, we needed to get to a year breakout –– up to ––– at least a year breakout time for at least 10 years. Given that we’re still –– part of the negotiations remains what happens to some of those pieces in those further-on years, I don’t have a specific breakout time to put onto those years at this point, but obviously we want as long of a breakout time for as long as possible.”
In short, Ms. Harf knew she was unable to confirm that Iran would not have an immediate nuclear breakout capacity in 13-15 years, yet tried to mislead her audience into believing that President Obama had not agreed to any such prospect.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Ms. Harf’s attempted spin on President Obama’s clear language in his NPR interview is an insult to the intelligence of her audience, American Jews and indeed the entire American public.
“Anyone can read the transcript of President Obama’s NPR interview. If one does so, it is clear that his statement came in response to a question from his interviewer, Steve Inskeep, who has specifically asked the President, ‘what will happen in 10 or 15 years as the [upcoming agreement based on the Lausanne framework] deal starts to expire.’
“Also, President Obama clearly opened his response by saying, ‘this is a good deal if you think Iran’s open to change…’ in which he proceeded to outline all the advantages he claimed would accrue form having such a deal, but then added that there was a ‘relevant fear’ regarding Iran’s capacity for an immediate nuclear breakout in 13-15 years.
“In other words, this was a deliberate, premeditated effort by Obama Administration to mislead the American public and the world as to the anticipated consequences of a nuclear deal with Iran based on the Lausanne framework by claiming that President Obama did not say what he so obviously said.
“President Obama should immediately clarify that the State Department explanation of his words was misleading and apologize for it. Even if this Iran deal would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, what is being ignored is the critical point that this deal will immediately give significant or complete sanctions relief to provide tens of billions of dollars for increased sponsorship of terrorism by Iran. This is why it is so important for the United States and the P5 + 1 to require Iran to end their funding and arming of terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria’s Assad before any deal is finalized. Only this very week, Iran sent tens of millions of dollars to Hamas to pay for the building of more terror tunnels and missiles for use against Israel.”