“Why can’t we confirm or deny the content of these [secret] agreements [about inspection protocols] in public?” Mr. [Tom] Cotton inquires. “Why is it classified. It’s not a sensitive U.S. government document. The ayatollahs know what they’ve agreed to.”
“Because,” Mr. Kerry replies, “we respect the process of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], and we don’t have their authorization to reveal what is a confidential agreement between them and another country.”
Senator Cotton then asks him: “So the ayatollahs will know what they’ve agreed to but not the American people.”
“Well, the, no, not exactly,” Mr. Kerry harrumphs, “because we will share with you in the classified briefing what we understand things to be. But they negotiated the agreement with the IAEA. The IAEA is an independent entity under the united nations, Senator, as I know you know, and I don’t know even at this point what the law says about the United States requiring something that another entity’s laws prohibit.”
Kerry and the other main U.S. negotiator, the Sec. of Energy, had each said he knows for sure of no American negotiator who has read this agreement.
This will be remembered as a classic of State Department arrogance in the face of a legislature whose approval the State Secretary and President are seeking for an agreement with a country that refers to us as the Great Satan and swears to wipe Israel off the map.
If we were going before the Senate on this head, we’d make a point of knowing what the law says about the United States requiring information that another “entity’s” laws prohibit us from having. We’d make it a point of standing for open covenants [agreements]. The world knows all about closed ones and how they lead to war.
And is learning how “State Department arrogance” flouts citizens’ elected representative bodies. Or entities, as Kerry would have it.