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July 31, 2015

Former NATO Commander: “You can drive a truck” through "holes" in Iran deal. Where's the Coverage?

The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) is a top-tier military command that oversees the United States’ largest intergovernmental military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO's composed of 28 independent member countries and an additional 22 countries who participate in the associate Partnership for Peace program.

NATO’s first commander was World War II hero and future President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1950. Among his successors can be found a future secretary of state, a national security adviser, and a presidential candidate. Yet, when former SACEUR U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis recently expressed quotable concerns over a topic receiving considerable news media coverage, the Iran nuclear deal, hardly any major media outlets reported them.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe talk show on July 29, 2015, Stavridis—who served as SACEUR under President Obama from 2009 to 2013—commented on the agreement concluded July 14 between the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Islamic Republic of Iran over the latter’s purported nuclear program violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Stavridis said the deal as structured may allow for Iranian cheating to go undetected. He found the proposed verification procedures particularly troubling:

“I think the top [issue] is the verification regime, which is starting to roughly resemble Swiss cheese,” Stavridis charged that “you can drive a truck through some of the holes. I am very concerned about that.”

The retired U.S. military commander said Iran’s side deal with the International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA) over inspections also posed problems. “Reportedly, it [the side deal] puts Iran in the position of actually procuring samples as opposed to having them taken by the IAEA.”

His biggest worries, however, were over what he called “the teeth of the alligator”—the $100 to $150 billion in sanctions relief that the proposed arrangement would give to Tehran. These are funds other military leaders like out-going U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey have stated are likely to be used by the mullahs to fund terrorism and Shiite militias currently fueling instability in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Syria.

The admiral’s comments—including his dismissal of assertions by President Obama and others that the only option besides the proposed deal was war—were nowhere to be found in most major media outlets such as USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others.

However, both The Jerusalem Post (“Top US general distances himself from choice of Iran deal,” July 29) and The Washington Free Beacon (“Ret. Admiral Stavridis: ‘You Can Drive a Truck Through’ Holes in Iran Deal,” July 29) covered Stavridis’ comments and in the case of The Post—recent remarks by Gen. Dempsey also dismissing the assertion war with Iran or this deal were the only options.

With a former head of NATO offering serious criticism of the widely-reported Iran deal, now being considered by Congress, where was the coverage?

A clip of the Admiral’s remarks can be found here.—Sean Durns

Posted by ER at July 31, 2015 10:58 AM

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