AIPAC issued a statement calling Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments, apparently retreating from a demand that Iran come clean about all of its past nuclear work, “disturbing,” The Jerusalem Post reported today.
AIPAC’s statement was one of concern that, after sealing a framework to a nuclear deal with Iran, the US was “backtracking” on a fundamental negotiating position.
“The secretary’s statement indicates the US may be backtracking from previous demands that Iran respond fully to the IAEA’s questions– raising the disturbing prospect that the anticipated agreement will be fundamentally flawed,” AIPAC’s statement reads.
“The US and the IAEA do not know the extent of Iran’s nuclear capabilities,” they state. “When asked in April if Iran must disclose past military-related nuclear activities as part of an agreement, Secretary Kerry said ‘They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done.'”
Kerry said at a press conference that the United States “knew” the scope of Iran’s past nuclear work and was looking to ensure that it would stop as part of any deal.
We’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in.
Even amid attempts by the State Department yesterday to clarify Kerry’s remarks, Kerry himself said, “We’ve said we’re not looking for a confession (from Iran); we’ve already made judgments about the past,” reinforcing the impression that the United States was satisfied with its knowledge of Iran’s past nuclear work.
AIPAC’s complete statement is available here (.pdf). The AIPAC statement notes that Kerry said in April that Iran’s coming clean about its past nuclear work is a prerequisite for any nuclear deal, noting that complete knowledge of Iran’s past nuclear work was essential for the International Atomic Energy Agency “to establish a baseline of Tehran’s nuclear program – including breakout time – against which to measure future actions.”
When asked in April if Iran must disclose past military-related nuclear activities as part of an agreement, Secretary Kerry said “They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done.” (Interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff, April 8, 2015)
[Photo: AIPAC / YouTube ]