Mr. Zarif explains

Iranian officials have been pretty good sources of understanding the nature of the deal we have entered into with Iran. Among other things, in my view, they rightly crow that it’s a good deal for them and a bad deal for us. They claim victory.

By contrast, the Obama administration has misrepresented and obfuscated the nature of the deal from the git-go. In terms of understanding, they are an obstacle to be overcome.

Most recently, appearing on CNN, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered a a critique similar to my own (video below): “The White House version [of the agreement] both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitment. And I’m not interested in that. I’m simply saying, why don’t we all stick to what we agreed? Why do we need to produce different texts?”

In response to CNN’s inquiry regarding the difference in the American and Iranian accounts of the agreement, Zarif kindly responded: “Well, the terminology is different. The White House tries to portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again. And I urge you to read the entire text. If you find a single, a single word that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment.” Zarif added: “What Iran has agreed is not to enrich above 5 percent. We did not agree to dismantle anything.”

Zarif has it right, of course, as Clifford May helps all to understand in his lucid NRO column “World powers surrender to Iran.” See also Cliff’s Commentary essay “The Persian triangle.”

Video and transcription via Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard.


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