W.H. on Iran Side Deals: ‘It’s Been Briefed to Members of the House’
REPORTER: Back to the so-called site agreements in the Iran deal. The objectives, among the objections, is that they are private between the IAEA and Iran and that makes the IAEA the judge of whether Iran has complied and there are members of Congress who believe that that should not be the case. They also maintain that those side letters or side agreements should be submitted under the terms of the Iran review act.”
EARNEST: “I vigorously dispute the description of these as side agreements. I think it's fine for our critics to do that but I think even you have to acknowledge I have made a forceful case for why that's not the case.”
REPORTER: But it's an agreement between IAEA and Iran.”
EARNEST: “It is confidential but known to our negotiating team, it's been briefed to members of the house who were interested in confidential setting. That briefing has been offered to members of the Senate. The United States and our negotiating team is aware of what's included in that agreement and shared that information with members of the house in a classified session and is prepared to share that information with members of the Senate in a classified setting.”
REPORTER: So you're saying that these members who are asking that these, whatever you want to call them, for review under the Iran review act are in fact included because they've been briefed to members of Congress in secret.”
EARNEST: “I don't know what the requirements are of the Iran review act. I'm not sure what it means they're asking for. What the administration has committed to do and followed through on is to provide all the information is necessary for members of Congress to fairly evaluate the agreement that's been struck here. That's why we have gone to great lengths to make sure that the information that's included in that agreement between Iran and the IAEA has been shared with members of Congress. There are some limitations about how we can do that. A lot of information is directly related to this proliferation of nuclear weapons. So there's a reason we want -- we wouldn't want it posted on web site to allow anyone in the world to take a look at it. But we have committed to making sure Congress understands what's been reached between Iran and the IAEA. I want to repeat that we have made clear that Iran living up to the terms of the agreement they've reached with the IAEA is necessary before they receive any sort of sanctions relief. That's why I would not describe it as a side agreement because no part of the agreement will move forward unless Iran complies."