As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers normally receives briefings on national secrets.
But Rogers, R-Mich., says he knew nothing of the six months of secret talks the United States had with Iran before the weekend agreement to ease sanctions on Iran. To his knowledge, neither did his Senate counterpart.
“It was concerning that they didn’t believe it was important enough to do this, and that just raises questions about what did they pre-arrange prior to the P5+1,” Rogers said Monday on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”
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The P5+1 group, consisting of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany, negotiated a six-month temporary easing of sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran’s pausing its efforts to enrich uranium – which the West and Iran’s Arab neighbors think it intends to use to build a nuclear weapons arsenal.
But the secret talks aren’t all that worry Rogers. In addition to the $4.2 billion Iran is getting as part of the deal, it also gets gold and other precious metals. Those, Rogers said, can be used to get around the sanctions by bartering – something Iran already has done while sanctions were in effect.
The issue isn’t being played up enough, he told Blitzer.
“Not talking about that worries me,” Rogers said. “We ought to know what the facts are of the deal.”
Rogers is among those in Washington saying the United States gave Iran everything it wanted in exchange for very little.
“That’s why the Arab League thinks this is a bad deal, Israel thinks it a bad deal, a bipartisan group in Congress thinks this is a bad deal,” he said, “which is apparently why the secret meetings to talk about it.”
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