|STATEMENT: Sen. Michael Bennet needs to give Coloradans answers on Iran deal briefings | Did Bennet know about loopholes and exemptions favoring Iran?
DENVER—The United States and its negotiating partners agreed “in secret” to permit Iran to avoid restrictions under the so-called “Iran deal,” in order to meet the deadline for Iran to get their hands on boat loads of cash relief from sanctions, according to a think tank report published on Thursday.
The report, released by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, is based on information provided by several officials of governments involved in the negotiations, according to the exclusive with Reuters.
Last year during the debate on the Iran deal, Advancing Colorado questioned Sen. Michael Bennet’s briefings with the White House, calling him a Stepford senator. In light of the recent news exposing the Iran deal as what many would call a charade Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood released the following statement:
“Coloradans need to know if Bennet understood that these loopholes and dangerous details would be permitted. Coloradans are outraged with Sen. Michael Bennet and despite what his press shop, The Denver Post, and few others say it is a big deal. Does Bennet still think the Iran deal is ‘going well’ and what will it take for Bennet to think it isn’t?”
According to Reuters, “Among the exemptions were two that allowed Iran to exceed the deal’s limits on how much low-enriched uranium (LEU) it can keep in its nuclear facilities, the report said. LEU can be purified into highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium.
The exemptions, the report said, were approved by the joint commission the deal created to oversee implementation of the accord. The commission is comprised of the United States and its negotiating partners — called the P5+1 — and Iran.”
“The exemptions or loopholes are happening in secret, and it appears that they favor Iran,” said institute President David Albright.
From the report:
“From the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) placed detailed limitations on facets of Iran’s nuclear program that needed to be met by Implementation Day, which took place on January 16, 2016.* Most of the conditions were met by Iran. However, we have learned that some nuclear stocks and facilities were not in accordance with JCPOA limits on Implementation Day, but in anticipation the Joint Commission had earlier and secretly exempted them from the JCPOA limits. The exemptions and in one case, a loophole, involved the low enriched uranium (LEU) cap of 300 kilograms (kg), some of the near 20 percent LEU, the heavy water cap, and the number of large hot cells allowed to remain in Iran. One senior knowledgeable official stated that if the Joint Commission had not acted to create these exemptions, some of Iran’s nuclear facilities would not have been in compliance with the JCPOA by Implementation Day.
Recently the Joint Commission created a Technical Working Group to consider further exemptions to Iran’s stock of 3.5 percent low enriched uranium. This cap is set at 300 kg of LEU hexafluoride but Iran apparently has or could exceed the cap if no further exemptions are granted by the Joint Commission.
The decisions of the Joint Commission have not been announced publicly. The Obama administration informed Congress of key Joint Commission decisions on Implementation Day but in a confidential manner. These decisions, which are written down, amount to additional secret or confidential documents linked to the JCPOA. Since the JCPOA is public, any rationale for keeping these exemptions secret appears unjustified. Moreover, the Joint Commission’s secretive decision making process risks advantaging Iran by allowing it to try to systematically weaken the JCPOA. It appears to be succeeding in several key areas.”
The full report available as a PDF is here.
The Denver Post this week featured an opinion piece from a Colorado voter titled, “No, Sen. Bennet, Iran nuclear deal is not ‘going well.'” Last week, Bennet was hit with criticism following an “interview” he did with the Denver Post in which he state the Iran deal is going well and that he didn’t have a clue about the ransom payment literally everyone has been talking about for weeks now. The Washington Times covered the criticism here.
The Institute for Science and International Security was neutral on whether or not the “Iran deal” should be implemented.