A former Obama official tasked with selling the Iran nuclear deal to the public recently posted a tweet blaming the pro-Israel lobby for Iran tripling its nuclear stockpile.
Associated Press recently published a confidential report from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that raised new questions about possible nuclear-related activities and undeclared nuclear material at three locations. The agency said as of Feb. 19, Iran’s total stockpile of low-enriched uranium amounted to 1,020.9 kilograms (1.1 tons), compared to 372.3 kilograms on Nov. 3, 2019, noted in its November report. This is enough uranium to produce nuclear weapons.
AP reported that the IAEA identified three locations in Iran where the country possibly stored undeclared nuclear material or undertook nuclear-related activities without declaring it to international observers. It said it had sent questions to Iran in three separate letters, but Iran responded that it wasn’t obliged to respond. The IAEA asked for access to two of the sites but was denied. The activities at all three sites are thought to have been from the early 2000s.
These are just a few of the violations of the JCPOA by Iran. Iran has also entirely ignored an agreement they signed with the UN restricting its program to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.
When Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the hawkish think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, commented on this development on Twitter, Ben Rhodes snapped back a response, blaming the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC ), a pro-Israel lobbying group.
I hope everyone at AIPAC can do a victory lap for tripling Iran’s stockpile https://t.co/DUVEyrdxUK
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) March 3, 2020
With the impressive title of the United States Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes was supposed to convince the public that former President Barack Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal, would protect the free world from Iran increasing its nuclear program to the point where they could produce a nuclear weapon. Recent developments made it clear that the much-touted agreement never had any possibility of fulfilling this expectation.
Dubowitz was wuick to respond, noting that the JCPOA was flawed in its inception.
I guess Ben didn’t read the JCPOA. Under its sunset provisions, Iran can triple its stockpile, and far worse, as it took patient pathways to nukes. https://t.co/wCVPFMJ37I
— Mark Dubowitz (@mdubowitz) March 3, 2020
Political author James Hasson noted that Rhodes was perpetuating an anti-Semitic trope by blaming the Jews for manipulating the government.
Casually blaming American Jews for controlling foreign policy at the behest of Israel. Cool, cool. https://t.co/RkYOLUMm5K
— James Hasson (@JamesHasson20) March 3, 2020
This is not the first time Rhodes has blamed someone other than the deal’s founders for its disastrous results, nor is it the first time Dubowitz has fired back for this misplaced blame. In his anyone-but-Obama mindset, Rhodes recently blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu who actually came to the U.S. to warn Congress about the disastrous deal. And Dubowitz stood strong.
What do Ben Rhodes, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the far-right & far-left have in common? They’re all blaming Netanyahu for Trump’s Iran policy https://t.co/IUTU2gtLgg
— Mark Dubowitz (@mdubowitz) May 18, 2019
It is important to note that in an interview with the New York Times, Rhodes admitted that, as part of his job, he deliberately misled the public about the Iran deal, creating an “echo chamber.” Part of this echo chamber was telling the public that negotiations were initiated with the election of President Hasan Rouhani in 2013 who was considered more moderate than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the interview, Rhodes stated that the Obama administration began negotiations with the openly Islamist Ahmadinejad and the framework for the agreement was already in place before Rouhani’s election.