There Are No 'Secret Side Deals' Between IAEA and Iran, Says Admin, Just 'Confidential' Deals
The Obama administration stressed today that there's nothing secret about the pacts between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency -- the documents that Congress isn't allowed to view and the White House isn't allowed to posses are simply confidential.
The Associated Press last week leaked text of one of the documents it was able to view and transcribe, called "separate arrangement II" and dealing with Iran's self-inspections at the Parchin military complex. "Iran will provide to the Agency" photos, videos and "environmental samples taken from points inside one building already identified by the Agency and agreed by Iran, and 2 points outside of the Parchin complex which would be agreed between Iran and the Agency."
"It is Secretary Kerry's view that this is absolutely not a secret or side deal," State Department press secretary John Kirby told reporters today, but are instead "confidential arrangements... the contents of which are confidential."
"The fact that there is an arrangement between the IAEA and Iran is of course not secret or confidential. They do this typically around the world," Kirby said. "So, it's Secretary Kerry's view that it's neither secret, nor is it a side deal. It is -- it is an appropriate arrangement between the IAEA and another nation to verify it."
Still, Kirby said, he's "not gonna comment on the veracity of leaked documents."
At the White House, though, press secretary Josh Earnest seemed to vouch for the veracity.
"And now that we have seen what appears to be, or at least what the Associated Press has assessed to be, a near final document that's been released, I think it's hard for people to make the case that this is somehow a secret agreement," Earnest declared.
The AP stressed that they did not see a "separate arrangement I."
"It continues to be our view that this agreement is not a side agreement and it's not a secret one primarily because this administration went to great lengths to brief every member of Congress about the contents of the agreement," Earnest said. "...What is true is that typically agreements between the IAEA and countries around the world are held confidential. And the IAEA has agreements like this with hundreds of countries of hundreds around the world, in more than 100 countries around the world, including the United States."
Earnest said he's "confident" that the IAEA "will get access to all of the information they need and all of the access to the site that they need in order to conclude their report."
"And there are some Republicans in Congress who have suggested that the IAEA will not get enough access to the site in order to write their report," he added. "And that's a pretty bold statement, considering that some of these same Republicans in Congress say that they don't have enough scientific knowledge to determine whether or not climate change is actually occurring, but yet somehow they claim to have enough knowledge of nuclear physics to assess what kind of access the IAEA needs to Parchin."
Kirby said "we are confident, remain confident that this deal in all its parameters will provide the IAEA the access it needs to do its job with the verifying."