White House Admits Iran Held 'Side' Deal With UN Watchdog

GOP blasts 'secret' side Iran nuclear deal, which reportedly has Islamic Republic opening up about past nuclear military activity.

Bloomberg

The White House has confirmed Wednesday the existence of what some have called 'side' deals, unbeknownst to the public, between Iran and the UN's atomic watchdog as part of the comprehensive nuclear agreement reached between the Islamic Republic and world power in July, The Hill reported.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice was quoted by the report as saying the 'side' deals – which Republicans have blasted as 'secret' – pertain to Iran opening up to the International Atomic Energy Agency about its past nuclear activities, especially those with a military nature.

During negotiations for the accord, Haaretz learned that Iran's willingness to expose past military nuclear activity to the IAEA was said to be a condition for the removal of some international sanctions. At the time Iran pledged to answer UN inspectors' questions regarding any suspicions about their military program by the end of 2015. 

Rice was quoted by The Hill as saying the so-called 'side' deals between Iran and the IAEA have the Islamic Republic accounting just such past military uses. Rice further claimed that though the 'side' deal's documents are not public, the White House has been briefed on their contents. She promised that Congress – which now has 60 days to review the deal – will be updated in a classified briefing.  

“We’re satisfied with them and we will share the contents of those briefings in full in a classified session with the Congress,” she was quoted as telling reporters by The Hill. “So there's nothing in that regard that we know that they won't know.”

However, Republicans responded with scorn to the news, saying it raised concerns about other secret clauses in the accord.

“That we are only now discovering that parts of this dangerous agreement are being kept secret begs the question of what other elements may also be secret and entirely free from public scrutiny,” Sen. Tom Cotton said in a statement quoted by the report.