Last year, President Trump formally withdrew the United States from Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran—a deal so bad Obama never even tried to get the U.S. Senate to ratify it.
Today it’s been reported that Iran is threatening to stop complying with parts of the deal unless the countries still signed on to it meet their demands. From The Hill:
Iran said it would pull out of parts of an international nuclear deal, announcing it would resume the enrichment of uranium previously prohibited by the Obama-era agreement that President Trump withdrew from.
Iran President Hassan Rouhani said he would take the action unless other parties to the deal agreed to start selling Iran oil despite the threat of U.S. sanctions within 60 days, according to multiple reports.
This announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of Trump’s formal withdrawal from the deal.
While people on the left are jumping at the opportunity to blame Trump for Iran’s nuclear blackmail, the big point they are either forgetting or deliberately choosing to ignore is that Iran, from the very beginning, has repeatedly exploited loopholes and outright violated the terms of the nuclear deal.
Even before the nuclear deal was put in place, Iran showed the world it wasn’t taking the negotiations seriously. In October 2015, Iran test-fired a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Within months of the agreement being reached, Iran had repeatedly violated the nuclear deal and the U.N. resolutions. Even HuffPost admits it:
Iranian leaders have breached both the resolutions and the nuclear agreement for the third time since the nuclear deal went into effect in January 2016. Iran has repeatedly test-fired, long-range ballistic missiles and laser-guided surface-to-surface missiles.
In October and November, just after the nuclear deal was reached, Iran tested a new ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads.
In March, Iran again test-fired two ballistic missiles.
More recently and for the third time, the Iranian government fired a test missile two weeks ago which was accurate to 25 feet, which is characterized as zero error, according to the Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi, the Iranian military’s deputy chief of staff, and Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency.
The range of existing Iranian ballistic missiles has grown from 500 miles to over 2,000 kilometers (roughly 1,250 miles), which can easily reach Eastern Europe as well as countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Yemen.
Even Barack Obama acknowledged that Iran was violating the “spirit” of the nuclear deal, though he wouldn’t admit they were actually violating the letter of the agreement—not that he would, since the deal was a key part of his foreign policy legacy. His administration even determined that uranium particles discovered at an Iranian military base were likely part of a prior secret nuclear weapons program, which meant that Iran had lied about their nuclear ambitions during the nuclear deal negotiations.
In August 2017, Iran’s parliament unanimously voted to increase spending on their ballistic missile program while chanting “Death to America.” In October, German intelligence revealed that Iran made 32 attempts to illegally buy nuclear technology that could be used for military nuclear and ballistic missile programs in 2016. A couple of months later, the Trump administration unveiled evidence that Iran was supplying missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen.
When Trump finally got us out of the nuclear deal, many on the left cried foul, claiming the deal made us safer (it doesn’t), that it was working (it wasn’t), and that Trump only pulled out of the deal because it was Obama’s. Party loyalty is no reason to deny the evidence that Iran was never going to stop their nuclear ambitions because of the deal. Trump was right to pull out of the deal and reimpose sanctions on the world’s number one state-sponsor of terrorism.
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis