While Western officials rail at Iran’s Supreme Leader for mixed messages on Iran’s stance on the nuclear deal, Secretary of State John Kerry continues to make dramatic changes to his public position on the matter, contradicting claims he’d made only a week prior.
Last week, Secretary Kerry insisted that a full accounting of the military dimensions of any past nuclear activities in Iran wasn’t necessary. Today, he telephoned his Iranian counterpart to inform him that the US demands Iran answer all questions about its past activities if it wants a deal.
Intelligence agencies believe that while Iran explored possible military dimensions to its nuclear program at one point, this was scrapped long ago, and that the present program is purely civilian. Questions about this past activity have been mixed in with apocryphal allegations of current plots, usually originating from Israel or the Mujahadeen-e Khalq, and combined to form the narrative of an active Iranian nuclear weapons program, which again, no intelligence community in the world believes actually exists.
It is unclear why Kerry changed his mind again in the past week on the matter, though he faced criticism from hawks for saying the past didn’t matter, and might simply be trying to deflect criticism by suddenly claiming it does again.