President Obama’s brain trust, no doubt, expected that the “historic deal” Secretary of State John Kerry had struck with Iran would be greeted with widespread approval and would offer a welcome diversion of public attention from the non-stop cascade of negatives that have plagued ObamaCare since its disastrous rollout on October 1. Polling by various organizations has shown that when it comes to the thorny issue of Iran, most Americans favor pursuing diplomatic efforts rather than war. With the war in Afghanistan still grinding on, the costly Iraq War still in mind, and the recent Obama-backed debacles in Egypt, Libya, and Syria offering fresher evidence of the perils of foreign military ventures, it is not surprising that there is little American support for opening another conflict with the likes of Iran.
However, as details of the agreement have been revealed and digested, opposition has been growing not only among Republicans, but also among leading Democrats in Congress. That opposition has been helped (perhaps inadvertently) by Iran, which claims that the Obama administration has misrepresented the agreement. On Tuesday, November 26, two days after the White House’s “historic deal” announcement, the Iranian Foreign Ministry declared that it strongly rejected the “one-sided interpretation of the agreed text” provided in a White House “fact sheet.”
“What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action (the title of the Iran-powers deal), and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Tuesday.
The Obama administration had announced early Sunday morning, November 24, that it had concluded an agreement to lift sanctions against Iran in exchange for a reduction in Iran’s efforts to build their nuclear capability. The agreement followed four days of heavy negotiations in Geneva between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France), plus Germany.
The deal was praised as a breakthrough by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (shown in photo):
We believe that the current agreement, the current plan of action as we call it, in two distinct places, has a very clear reference to the fact that the Iranian [nuclear] enrichment program will continue and will be a part of any agreement, now and in the future.
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Photo of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: AP Images