Associated Press reporter Matt Lee has been on a hit streak lately, delivering hard-cutting foreign policy questions to the Obama administration. On Tuesday, he challenged State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau to share what consequences they have in mind for Iran as they continue capturing Americans. Her show of "concern" was less than satisfying.
Lee pointed out that since the Iran deal talks, which included non-nuclear issues like American detainees, more U.S. citizens have been imprisoned in Iran, meaning the situation is worse, not better. Currently, there are six Americans in Iranian custody.
"Is that a cause for concern?" Lee asked.
"You know, it's always a concern," Trudeau lobbed back, "when American citizens are detained overseas."
Not sounding overly confident, Trudeau limply ensured that the DoS will "work hard" and will continue in its "commitment" in bringing our men home.
Lee sternly interjected, "But the problem is getting worse, not better, correct?"
"We are seeing that Americans are detained in Iran, yeah," Trudeau said, avoiding the question.
As Lee pressed, she agreed there are in fact more hostages now than when the Iran talks started. He also reminded Trudeau that since the DoS has asked for the return of American citizens, the Iranian government has taken "zero steps" to comply and have actually taken more prisoners and even convicted one of them.
Her response is so weak it's almost not fit to print, but here goes anyway:
We continue to raise this we -- will always raise this until they're home with their families.
Lee, clearly unsatisfied with Trudeau's impotent answers, was left to ask if she is at all concerned about this situation, to which she replied, "Of course we're concerned."
Another reporter chimed in, "Will there be any consequences?"
"Consequences?" Trudeau repeated. "You know, this is something we continue to have dialogue on. You know, this is something we will continue to discuss."
Because discussions obviously work and Iran is honest. Thus the strength of the Obama administration.