The PJ Tatler

Earnest Calls McCain 'Naïve and Reckless' for Citing Supreme Leader's Words on Nuke Deal

The White House protested today that senators shouldn’t be listening to what the supreme leader of Iran says about the nuclear framework.

In response to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s comments about the the White House fact sheet being “wrong on most of the issues” of the deal and stressing that there might not be a deal with the “devilish” United States, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) issued a statement yesterday noting that the remarks “suggest that Iran and the Obama administration are on very different pages.”

“It is the Supreme Leader, not Iran’s president or foreign minister, who really calls the shots in Tehran,” McCain said. “So for him to say, as he did today, that Iran will not permit inspections of its nuclear facilities anytime, anywhere — and that sanctions relief must be complete and immediate — would appear to be a major setback.

“These differences need to be thoroughly explained by the Administration if we are to give serious consideration to this agreement.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest replied that the five-term senator, former presidential nominee and current chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee has no idea what he’s talking about:

The White House has maintained that everything from insistence on elements of the deal to statements about destroying Israel and America are just rhetoric for Iranian leaders’ domestic audience.

Iranian leaders — from negotiators to the parliament, in addition to Khamenei — said in the weeks preceding the framework agreement that they would not accept a deal that doesn’t lift all sanctions immediately. Current statements just reiterate that demand.