With the battle intensifying over the deal to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons as Congress conducts a 60-day review, a key charge that critics are making is that the Obama administration caved on a commitment to seek the dismantlement of Tehran’s nuclear program.
Except that it didn’t. Dismantlement of the Iranian program was never administration policy.
The charge is one of the arguments that opponents are airing to persuade Congress to pass a resolution barring the United States from lifting sanctions on Iran. With hearings on the deal to begin Thursday in the Senate, President Barack Obama has promised to veto any congressional action aimed at blocking his top foreign policy priority.
Some of the criticism, like the alleged surrender on dismantlement, is misleading or inaccurate. But that’s partly the price that President Barack Obama is paying for misstatements that he and one of his chief negotiators, Secretary of State John Kerry, made in the past.
Administration officials also have been loose with some of the arguments that they’re using to defend the air-tightness of the accord, which was finalized last week between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany after two years of talks.