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April 7, 2015 9:14 pm

‘Open Confusion’ at State Department as Marie Harf Tries to Walk Back Obama’s Zero Breakout Time Admission (VIDEO)

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In an interview with NPR, President Obama stated that Iran's breakout time would drop to zero soon after a decade of the deal being in place. PHOTO: NPR.

“Open confusion” reigned today at the State Department after spokeswoman Marie Harf tried to withdraw a quote from President Barack Obama regarding Iran’s nuclear breakout time, advocacy group The Israel Project said.

In the interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, the President acknowledged that, after year 13, the current deal being worked out with Iran would not provide the international community with the promised 1-year warning should Iran decide to violate the deal and go for a nuclear weapon.

The President said that, “in year 13, 14, 15” of the deal, “they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero,” and that the assurances of a 1-year warning time would be available to the international community for “at least well over a decade. And then in years 13 and 14, it is possible that those breakout times would have been much shorter.”

The Israel Project noted that “under that scenario there will be no way to physically prevent them from building a nuclear weapon, and they would be able to go nuclear at will.”

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In the State Department’s attempted response to queries about the President’s statement on Tuesday, Spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters that the President was talking about a hypothetical sscneario in which the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) had not been enacted.

Harf asserted that while the President’s words “were a little mixed up there,” he was in fact “referring to a scenario in which there was no deal,” adding that the President’s scenario was “more of a hypothetical, ‘well look, without a deal, this is what could possibly happen.’ He was not indicating what would happen under an agreement in those years.”

The Israel Project outright rejected Harf’s explanation noting that the President wasn’t muddled, as Harf asserted, but was responding to a question about whether the deal with Iran was worthwhile given the concessions on Iran’s stockpile, “he dismissed the stockpile concern, then said the ‘more relevant fear’ had to do with the sunset provisions that would allow Iran to have a zero breakout time after year 13. There’s no room for reinterpretation there.”

The group offered their own understanding of the President’s words, saying, “He said that right now the Iranians have a 3 month breakout time, the deal extends that breakout time to a 1 year [time period] for the next 13 years, at which point the breakout time shrinks to zero,” adding that the President then acknowledged “the cost of the purchase was steep – a breakout time of zero after 13 years – but said at least transparency measures will have allowed us to develop a picture of the Iranian program.”

The group added, “The State Department will need to come up with a new spin on the President’s comments. Otherwise they’re going to get accused of blatantly trying to gaslight reporters.”

The discussion at the State Department was initiated by Associated Press reporter Matt Lee who described Obama’s interview as “a rather unusual sales job” on the nuclear deal.

Lee then pointed out that under a scenario with a breakout time of zero, the transparency measures will at best allow the world to watch the Iranians as they build nuclear weapons.

The Israel Project said that “Lee might have added that the President himself said in the NPR interview that the Iranian regime is unlikely to change, either in general or in its commitment to the eradication of Israel.”

The discussion was then cut short when a power outage hit the area.

Watch a video of Harf’s comments below (o9:03):

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  • zadimel

    Regardless of Obama’s statements, Israel may have to save the USA and itself by removing the terrorist nation’s hand on the nuclear trigger. With 200-400 nuclear devices capable of slamming Iran’s nuclear research and development centers,production facilities,military launch centers and other important targets from air-, land- and sea-launched systems,Israel has the ability to prevent the mullahs from traveling a destructive path.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    A dog pissing and the President talks has the same value.

  • Hans

    Am I a conspiracy theorist when I think that the “power outage” was very convenient… I mean, I would have assumed that the White House has backup power in the form of a generator…

  • Yale

    This deal is becoming a bigger mess each time the Obama team improves it.

    What we’re really hearing here is that Obama is making a deal to ensure that Iran doesn’t get a bomb when it will damage Obama’s legacy. Unlike essentially all previous presidents, he doesn’t see himself obligated to work for the welfare of the US in the long run. Rather, his goal as president has been to build up the legend of Barack Obama. In his eyes, the world began when he came into it, and America will end when he leaves the presidency.

  • Excuses and lies about the negotiations. Who can believe this administration? They don’t for sure and cannot walk back all the garbage that they made up. All Obama is interested in is his vanity and how the world perceives him. To me he is a total waste of time.
    He’d sell out his mother to make him look good.

  • Zack Daswer

    Her answer is as fake as her glasses and her delusional quest to be taken seriously as a spokeperson. What a ridiculous spin on the answer that Obama clearly answered, at year 13 zero time would be left to prepare for a nuclear bombed Iran after this agreement. Why are we negotiating with terrorists to begin with. The leader of Iran, just a few days ago said, quote: “Of course death to America”.

  • Sarah Brandeis

    This man called PRESIDENT DOES NOT MATTER.

    13 YEARS IS TOO FAR AWAY TO RUMINATE ESPECIALLY SINCE OBAMAMA WILL NO LONGER EXIST

    WHO KNOW AMERICA MAY NOT EITHER. BETTER LOOK AT TOMORROW AND THEN YOURSELF. BIBI SPOKE OF A TEN YEAR PLAN. AMERICAN’S ARE IN SUCH SPIRITUAL DEBT THEY WON’T EVEN NOTICE

    TODAY IS A OERFECT EXAMPLE. STUPID BEGETS STUPID

    ISRAEL MATTERS AND I DO NOT HAVE A SPEC OF ISSUES KNOWING THAT ACTION IS THEIR MIDDLE NAME

    G-D BLESS ISRAEL AND THEIR SERVIVAL.

  • Isabella

    Open confusion? They just can’t get their lies straight. Not that it would matter to Obama’s minions and American Jews that believe in every single lie.

  • 10

    TEFILLIN GO INTO A SHUL COUNT HOW MANY ON THE LEFT AND RIGHT ARM WRAPPED AND ONLY 1 OR 2 ON THE RIGHT ARM THAT IS WHY THE JEWISH LAWS WAS GIVIN TO THE JEWS SO THE LEFT ARM CAN BE THE MOST POPULAR. GOD OWNS THE RIGHT ARM. THE MIDDLE FINGER IS A CURSE WHY ITS WRAPPED

  • Jerome Verlin

    Well, at least now we know who pulled the plug that caused the power outage.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    That’s because what Obama quite nearly said and what everyone in the know, knows, is that Iran has been a nuclear state since 2012 and Obama not only has known all along, he worked with Iran to hush it up.

  • 10

    THE JEWS PRAY TO THE DUMPSTER WITH PRAYER BOOK

  • 10

    GOD OUR CREATOR HAD 14 MILLION JEWISH POPULATION OUT OF 7 BILLION PEOPLE. WHAT IS IT THAT THE JEWS SAW CORRECT.
    JEWISH LAW WITH DUMPSTER CELEBRATION LOOK AT THE PICTURES AGAIN AND SEE IF YOU SEE GOD.

  • No mater how one looks at it, it is still a bad deal.

  • 10

    ITS NOT GOD WHO GAVE YOU THE JEWISH LAWS. GOD COULD NOT REACH THE JEWS

  • 10

    WEEKLY PRAYER BOOKS HANDED OUT ON SUNDAY AND SAID THAT SUNDAY IS NOT A WEEKEND.
    NOBODY IN THE WORLD WOULD ACCEPT SUCH INCOMPETENCE WHY ONLY THE JEWS HAD LIVES IN HISTORY.

  • Juan Vega

    If you want to see the qualifications of the people in the Obama administration check out Ms. Harff. She should be a sorority queen. That woman has an empty space between her ears.

  • 10

    THE JEWS DO NOT KNOW WHEN THEY PICKED A DAY OUT OF A HAT TO HAVE THE JEWISH BLESSING AT THE WESTERN WALL ON MONDAY

  • 10

    I STARTED TO WRITE WHEN I SAW NEGATIVE NEWS. THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED IN THE MIDDLE EAST

  • 10

    LOTS OF SHULS 100 YEARS AGO BUT STILL HAD TO HIDE AND LESS SEEN BECAUSE THE JEWS DID NOT PRAY RIGHT WHY THE EVENT OF 70 YEARS AGO TOOK PLACE CONTINUED IN THE MIDDLE EAST

  • david freilich

    Obama held Bibi to his word about not having a two state solution, so now Bibi should hold Obama to HIS word about zero breakout time and the danger this implies. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The deal as it stands paves the road to Iran getting the bomb. The IDF will now know what it must do.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    i have the feeling that being on a merry-go-round on this iran deal only makes it easier to spin off the real issue at hand: should one negotiate with a terrorist regime?

  • As Obama says, the concern is the sunset provisions and therefore this must be negotiated by the end of discussions in June.

  • Pierre Elie Mamou

    Obama always said one thing and few hours later the contrary, Now he introduces nunaces, as spokewoman Marie Harf says: President’s words “were a little mixed up there”. Aka: Obama doesn’t lie once and says the truth the second time, now he mixes truth with lies.

  • Golum

    Hmmmm….so obama is confused about his great deal……?????
    What about the rest of the world???

  • Philip R Tripp

    “He (Obama) said that right now the Iranians have a 3 month breakout time, the deal extends that breakout time to a 1 year [time period] for the next 13 years, at which point the breakout time shrinks to zero,”

    I’ve heard other experts say Iran was 2-3 months from break out weeks ago. The next deadline for a deal is just under 3 months away with all of Iran’s centrifuges still spinning. If the deal is signed, according to Obama, Iran will still have 6000 centrifuges refining uranium and they will still have their stockpiles.

    Doesn’t that mean that Iran will be at breakout when it’s time to put pen to paper? Why would Iran accept this or possibly ANY deal if they have achieved breakout already?

    That resets the negotiations back to zero with Iran in a much different and stronger position.

    Why is nobody seemingly able to do this simple math?
    3-3=0
    Iran will probably achieve breakout before any agreement.

  • Gabrielle Grossman

    Sounds like the President may be coming down from his total commitment to the nuclear agreement with Iran–he’s realizing how easily Iran could make a bomb happen, and if they are able to fool and cheat inspectors, it could be much sooner than 15 years. A small nuclear bomb in a suitcase carried by a suicidal Hamas or Hezbollah person could decimate an Israeli city or a greater area. Nuclear bombs today are much more powerful than Hiroshima, where a mere atomic bomb was unleashed.
    Anything like that happening would really destroy Obama’s legacy, and I’m sure he would not find that possibility an acceptable risk.
    I have two suggestions for the President: 1) formally invite representatives from Israel to all future talks about the Iran nuclear deal, especially if there is to be a Camp David conference; 2)let Congress suggest ways to get a better deal with more safeguards.

  • Harold Moskowitz

    The fact that the State Department is and has been blatantly lying its ass off should be a surprise to no one. The defense is absurd because if there is no deal, they would also get the bomb at worst in 3 months — as if a difference in three months to one is anything!

    the question is going to be how closely will the Dems and the media just ignore the truth of what he just said.

  • David Goshen

    After all the very major concessions which Obama has made to the Iranians will they ever agree to diplomatic relations again.The answer is very unlikely as the continue to call the USA as the great Satan which supports Israel and should be wiped off the face of the earth.The Iranians want to change the face of the USA as does Obama.
    They want a completely non democratic USA under religious control preseved for generations.
    It seems that the attempt to bring USA democractic systems to the Middle East is the cause of all the trouble.
    There were too many countries in the ME like Iran which are completely undemocratc,countries like Iraq with majorities dis not rule .One saw what happened to Egyptian Democracy,no wander there is a desire to wipe Israel off the map,its the only successful democracy in
    the ME.Its a treat to all regimes like Iran!

  • Contrary to Ms. Harf’s assertions, what the President meant is exactly what he said. There was no taking out of context. Had there been no deal, why would anyone be talking about years 13-14 and 15?

  • Thus, now these Religious Zealots in Iran will control the nuclear switch and who will they point it at? Has one leader pointed a wagging finger at Iran, Hizbullah, Fatah and Hamas’ constant barrage of existential threats not just towards Israel but Jews anywhere and infidels. They have stated publicly that Jews anywhere are military targets of these devil re-incarnates wherever they are. Regardless of their so called reasons and justifications they threaten to annihilate Jews anywhere (Europe, India, Argentina, South America, Russia). Tourists, kids, babies. You godless false writers have the nerve to gloss over those events and not even wave your fingers at the perpetrators. You ignore the beheading by ISIS. So if that’s not Jew hating bold faced anti-Semitism then I am not sure what is. So I hope you can some how find it in your warped brains polluted with hatred and delusion, that for all of you mourn for the Arab-Palestinians that perhaps you take a moment to consider the hypocrisy and absurdity of your positions. You cannot mask the hatred. You cannot hid your evil. You cannot ignore the terror and violence. You cannot ignore the subjugation of the masses and the brainwashing of their children with hate and violence as a means to an end.

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