Paul Pillar is a former CIA analyst whose articles on current events are usually calm, measured, and logical. He brings his analytical skills to clarifying the issues. I highly recommend reading him regularly. I occasionally disagree with him, although I can’t recall a time when I thought he had something substantively wrong.
Nikki Haley’s speech to the American Enterprise Institute yesterday on the nuclear agreement with Iran produced a reaction from him the likes of which I’ve never seen.
Nikki Haley, whose foreign policy experience has consisted of these past few months as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, has assumed the role of chief public trasher of the JCPOA for the administration.
Laura Rozen, whom you should follow on Twitter, says that the State Department experts on the subject were not consulted for the speech. I’d like to know who wrote it. Stephen Miller seems like a candidate, with help from some think-tank people you may see me jousting with on Twitter. (Changed from Steve)
Haley remarks not informed by career State, am told. … Wonder, are she and Pence plotting? And for what? https://t.co/fO6yq72jU5
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) September 6, 2017
Pillar gives the background facts of the agreement while destroying Haley’s lies.
Haley lied when she said that the JCPOA “gave Iran what it wanted up-front, in exchange for temporary promises to deliver what we want.” The truth is that Iran had to fulfill most of its obligations first—including disposing of excess enriched uranium, disassembling enrichment cascades, gutting its heavy water reactor, and much else—before the agreement was fully implemented and Iran got even a whiff of additional sanctions relief. There is no correspondence between reality and Haley’s assertion that the agreement was a great deal for Iran but “what we get from the deal is much less clear.” What we get is a cementing closed (even literally, in the case of the disabling of a reactor that otherwise could have produced plutonium) of all possible pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon. This isn’t just a promise; this is major, material, already implemented change.
As they say, read the whole thing. It’s short, to the point, and accurate.