Kyle Wingfield

Political commentary and opinion from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's conservative blogger

Never mind Iran's nuclear-site scrubbing, Republicans are the enemy


"The U.S. intelligence community has informed Congress of evidence that Iran was sanitizing its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin, in broad daylight, days after agreeing to a nuclear deal with world powers.

"For senior lawmakers in both parties, the evidence calls into question Iran’s intention to fully account for the possible military dimensions of its current and past nuclear development. The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have a side agreement meant to resolve past suspicions about the Parchin site, and lawmakers' concerns about it has already become a flashpoint because they do not have access to its text.

"Intelligence officials and lawmakers who have seen the new evidence, which is still classified, told us that satellite imagery picked up by U.S. government assets in mid- and late July showed that Iran had moved bulldozers and other heavy machinery to the Parchin site and that the U.S. intelligence community concluded with high confidence that the Iranian government was working to clean up the site ahead of planned inspections by the IAEA."

That's from Bloomberg View's Josh Rogin and Eli Lake, who go on to write :

"Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told us Tuesday that while Iran’s activity at Parchin last month isn’t technically a violation of the agreement it signed with the U.S. and other powers, it does call into question Iran’s intention to be forthright about the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program.

"'The intel briefing was troubling to me … some of the things that are happening, especially happening in such a blatant way,' he said. 'Iran is going to know that we know.' He added the new information gave him 'a lot of concerns' about Iran coming clean on military dimensions of its nuclear work."

And what should we think about those in Congress who believe there are too many problems with this deal to approve it? Let's go to President Barack McCarthy -- er, I mean, Obama:

"'It's those hardliners chanting "death to America" who have been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican caucus,' Obama said (in a speech Wednesday)."


(Insert bright-blue face of one holding one's breath waiting for the same people who criticized Mike Huckabee's "ovens" comment to scold Obama for explicitly likening the GOP to a regime that cheers for America's destruction.)

So, let's get this straight. It's the hardliners -- i.e., the ruling clerical class of Iran -- who are most opposed to the deal ... even though they're also ultimately the ones who had to sign off on it (because they don't call the ayatollah the "supreme leader" for nothing). This is the same group of hardliners, by the way, whom we asked during the negotiations to cut out the "death to America" chants , to no avail. And it's those who oppose the deal who are "making common cause" with the hardliners, not those who struck the deal with said hardliners?

Confused? Well, then you just have to realize the real problem here is not the nuclear-site-scrubbing Iranians, but that the nuclear-site-scrubbing Iranians might deem us untrustworthy. From Jeffrey Goldberg's write-up of an interview with Secretary of State John Kerry in The Atlantic:

"'The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,' Kerry said. 'This' — a congressional rejection — 'will be the ultimate screwing.' He went on to argue that 'the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.'"

Yep, that -- backing out of a bad deal with Iran -- is the "ultimate screwing" here. Not, you know, signing a deal that gives Iran more money to finance terror, destabilize other Mideast regimes and threaten Israel, while unconditionally ending international embargoes on selling Iran arms or ballistic missiles and, in the end, leaving the country in the same place a decade from now as it is today in terms of developing a nuclear weapon . No, that couldn't possibly be the "ultimate screwing" by an American administration.

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About the Author

Kyle Wingfield joined the AJC in 2009. He is a native of Dalton and a graduate of the University of Georgia.