Back when the Obama administration helped adopt the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action involving Iran’s nuclear program last year, they treated it much in the same way Nancy Pelosi treated Obamacare: We would have to sign it, they said, to find out what was in it.
Until now, precious little information about the deal we’ve signed with Iran and our relations with Tehran since has been released to the general public.
But with at least two of President-elect Donald Trump’s picks for his cabinet, that could be about to change.
According to Bloomberg, the selection of Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the CIA and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s nomination for national security adviser, the president-elect might be signaling that he would declassify important information about the administration’s dealings with Iran.
Let’s start with Flynn. After he retired in 2014, Flynn — formerly with the Defense Intelligence Agency — said that dealings between Al Qaeda and Iran were much closer than those in the Obama administration were letting on.
“One letter to bin Laden reveals that Al Qaeda was working on chemical and biological weapons in Iran.” Flynn said in a book published this year, according to The Weekly Standard.
Flynn also said that there was “a lot of information on Iran in the files and computer discs captured at the Pakistan hideout of Osama bin Laden.” He claimed that the Obama administration blocked a lot of the information connecting Iran and Al Qaeda, noting acidly that the “censors have been busy.”
“Some of (the information) — tiny fraction — has been declassified and released, but the bulk of it is still under official seal. Those of us who have read bin Laden’s material know how important it is,” Flynn wrote.
Next is Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, tapped to head the Central Intelligence Agency. According to The Washington Free Beacon, Pompeo — along with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — sent questions to Attorney General Loretta Lynch involving the $1.7 billion cash payments made to Iran earlier this year. Those transfers, which seemed to neatly coincide with the release of several American hostages, led many to believe it was a ransom payment.
When Lynch declined to comply, Pompeo and Rubio sent the attorney general a strongly-worded letter.
“It is frankly unacceptable that your department refuses to answer straightforward questions from the people’s elected representatives in Congress about an important national security issue,” they wrote. “Your staff failed to address any of our questions, and instead provided a copy of public testimony and a lecture about the sensitivity of information associated with this issue.”
Let’s keep in mind that the Obama administration declassified significant information about enhanced interrogation techniques under the Bush administration when they took office. This could be what the Trump administration decides to do in order to shed some light on the Iran deal.