Negotiator Sherman Won't Say How Much Advance Notice Iran Gets

April 7th, 2015 9:34 AM

Much of today's Morning Joe was devoted to a discussion of Rolling Stone's failed journalism on the UVa story. Maybe Mika Brzezinski should look in the mirror: she began her interview of Wendy Sherman, the chief US negotiator on the Iran deal, by offering her "congratulations."  Even Sherman herself had the sense to suggest that congratulations were not yet in order.

In contrast, Joe Scarborough actually tried to get Sherman to answer an important question: how much advance notice of inspections does the deal give Iran? Sherman skated away faster than Apolo Ohno, refusing to answer other than to claim that "we will have the access we need to ensure that we have the time to make the decisions that we need."  Very reassuring, coming from the architect of the disastrous North Korean negotiations, which of course led to the Norks going nuclear.  Readers are encourged to read this article on Sherman: who knew, e.g., that she is a former Emily's List director?

To understand how bad this deal is, it's enough to know that President Obama chose the likes of John Kerry and Wendy Sherman as his chief negotiators. 

Question: can anyone think of a good-faith reason that Iran would need advance notice of inspections?  How long can it take to pull your Kate Upton posters off the wall?

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Joining us now from the State Department undersecretary for political affairs Wendy Sherman. Wendy was the lead negotiator, lead American negotiator in the talks with Iran. It is great to have you. Congratulations, by the way. 

WENDY SHERMAN: Well thank you, Mika. 

. . . 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: How much notice under this framework is there an understanding that we have to give Iran? Do they have a day, a week, a month to let inspectors in? 

SHERMAN: Well, I'm not going to go into the specific details of each and every element of this negotiation because I want -- although I accept Mika's nice congratulation, in fact, we do not yet have an agreement or an understanding as the lawyers call it. What we have is a framework. We are now negotiating those details, those details are absolutely crucial for all of the reasons that you all are discussing. And we have until June 30th to reach that. What we wanted to do and the instructions we had from the president is to get a framework and where we know at least the top line, and actually we got several more lines, of each of the major elements so that I, in fact, can tell congress, I, in fact, can tell the American people that we can move ahead. 

SCARBOROUGH: So what is your understanding of the framework and what it means as far as inspections go? 

SHERMAN: I think what the framework means is we will have the access we need to ensure that we have the time to make the decisions that we need. It's why the one-year breakout time that we've talked about so much, the amount of time that it would take them to get enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon is so critical. Because in a year you have more than enough time to make other decisions about sanctions or about other kinds of actions, to make sure that America's national security and the world's national security is indeed secure.