The White House staffer responsible for spinning the Iran nuclear deal to the public recently admitted the agreement was crafted in such a way that would prevent a future president from altering or scrapping it.
Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, claimed that nullifying the deal would be “counter” to U.S. interests. Rhodes threatened that any such action could “precipitate a crisis in the Middle East that leads to potential nuclear proliferation.”
“The way in which the Iran deal was structured creates enormous disincentives for an incoming president to tear it up,” said Rhodes during a speech at a seminar hosted by the Atlantic Council and the Iran Project Thursday.
The admission was in response to a question regarding presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s claim that he would make tearing up the deal a “number one priority.”
Rhodes came to notoriety in May when he was featured in a New York Times Magazine profile, admitting to spinning the nuclear deal to the public by creating an “echo chamber” comprised of academics and journalists who favored the agreement.
“The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented … was largely manufactured for the purpose of selling the deal,” wrote the profile’s author David Samuels.
The Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was agreed upon in July 2015. The agreement aimed to curb Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, but has been criticized by security experts, politicians and even some U.S. allies.
According to Rhodes, the deal’s framework purposefully front-loaded Iran’s commitments regarding removal of nuclear centrifuges, uranium stockpile and reconfiguration of one of its reactors. He then explained that should a future president tear up the agreement, Iran would restart its nuclear weapons program, meaning future leaders are chained to the agreement, whether the American public likes it or not.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Tuesday that he would “set fire” to the agreement if a future U.S. president ended it. Khamenei said he did not see a difference between Democrats and Republicans, according to Iranian media.