Watchdog Group: White House Gaslighting Journalists Over Iran
The Obama administration has been gaslighting reporters over concessions to Iran that could release between $30 to $50 billion dollars in frozen Iranian assets as soon as a nuclear deal is signed, Washington DC-based watchdog the Israel Project accused on Monday.
The group cited President Obama’s move on Friday to placate Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei’s latest demand for immediate sanctions relief upon signing a deal. While the Obama administration insisted it had not shown flexibility and offered no new concessions, it was simultaneously preparing to phase out sanctions in such a way that would offer the Iranians immediate and significant economic relief, the Israel Project said.
“They’re trying to borderline-gaslight journalists by insisting that there was no new concession, that the President didn’t signal any new flexibility, and that sanctions relief will still be phased out. That line is falling a bit flat – Obama said what he said – but now the question is how they intend to square the circle,” the group asked in an email sent to reporters. “How do they make sanctions relief phased in principle, so they can keep saying they didn’t cave, but instantaneous in practice, so that the Iranians will take the concession?”
An infusion of $50 billion dollars would increase Iran’s GDP by more than 10 percent and “signal the end of meaningful financial pressure,” the group wrote. It would allow Iran to “march across the Middle East, which would panic our Arab allies.”
“It’s also $50 billion to a regime that is dedicated to America’s destruction and that killed over a thousand American soldiers,” the group said.
The Israel Project also pointed to a recent Wall Street Journal report, in which President Barack Obama suggested that Iran could receive significant immediate economic relief, but also that the U.S. preferred a phased out method to remove sanctions against Iran.
Opponents of the deal emerging from the latest round of negotiations between Iran and the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, China, and Russia accuse the Obama administration of catering too much to Iranian demands in order to get a deal through Congress and out by the June 30 deadline, at whatever the cost.