This morning the U.S. House subcommittee on national security, defense and foreign operations will be holding an oversight hearing on the Obama administration’s policy toward Iran. However, some officials will be missing: administration policymakers.
Today’s congressional hearing is being held one week after the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency confirmed that Iran was moving forward toward production of nuclear weapons. In reaction, last week European states called for stiffer sanctions against Tehran. The French said sanctions should be raised to an “unprecedented scale” and the British concurred.
But while there is outrage in Europe, in Washington the Obama administration has decided to remain silent on Capitol Hill. It notified the subcommittee it would not provide policy makers for the congressional oversight hearing. Three administration officials, Defense Department deputy secretary Ashton Carter, Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin and State Department Deputy Secretary William Burns will not be allowed to testify before the House body.
They are being replaced by three career government officials who will not be able to comment on the administration’s policy toward Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
While dissing Congress the President was in Hawaii at an international Asian summit and met with Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev and China’s Hu Jintao. The President said he raised the issue of Iran’s nuclear program with both leaders. Both men remained silent on the issue, a clear rebuff for Obama.
The congressional hearing will go on. To view it go to www.oversight.house.gov or click here.
In his run for President, Obama originally pledged he would contain Iran by personally meet with its leaders and end their nuclear arms program. That meeting never happened and Tehran has been steadily working toward a nuclear weapons arsenal.