Veteran Associated Press IAEA reporter George Jahn made news yesterday by revealing a secret agreement to the July 2015 nuclear deal with Iran(the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA). This agreement says that in January 2027, Tehran will be allowed to replace the primitive 5,060 uranium centrifuges it is allowed to operate while the nuclear agreement is in effect with more-advanced designs, even though other restrictions on Iranian uranium enrichment remain in place for 15 years.
What is news is that the Obama administration is a party to another secret side deal to the JCPOA that explicitly recognizes Iran’s plan to greatly expand its uranium-enrichment program. Other secret side deals include one that allows Iran to inspect itself on possible nuclear-weapons-related work and another that possibly weakened IAEA reporting on Iran’s nuclear program.
As with the previous secret agreements, withholding this deal from Congress probably violated the Corker-Cardin Act, which required the administration to provide all JCPOA documents — including side deals — to Congress before it voted on the deal last September.
According to Jahn’s report, “U.S. officials say members of Congress who expressed interest [in the document] were briefed on its substance.” Translation: The administration did not provide this side-deal document to Congress or mention it in committee briefings. Instead, the substance of this document was briefed only to members of Congress who asked about this issue.