The New York Times reports that “Iran’s government said it was ending all its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal and that it would no longer limit its enrichment of uranium.”
The announcement came after Iran’s National Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the country’s nuclear policy in the aftermath of Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani’s assassination.
The statement said: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges. Therefore Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.”
This would be earth-shattering news if Iran ever stuck to the limitations of the nuclear deal in the first place.
The Iran Nuclear Deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action went into effect in July of 2015 and has a been a disaster ever since. Three months after the deal was made, Iran launched a ballistic missile test, in violation of the agreement Obama hailed for effectively containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
In April of 2016, Barack Obama conceded that Iran was already violating the “spirit” of the deal, though he claimed they were still sticking to the “letter” of the deal. A month later, Iran had officially violated the terms of the nuclear deal, as well as U.N. resolutions for three times. By July, German intelligence believed that Iran was attempting to acquire technology that could be used for its military nuclear program, again, in violation of the deal. In November of 2016, the U.N.’s atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reported that Iran had, for the second time, exceeded a soft limit on sensitive material under the nuclear deal.
All this was while Barack Obama was still president.
There have been violations since then as well, In December of 2017, then-U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley presented evidence that Iran was violating the nuclear deal by exporting missiles and other lethal weapons to rebels in Yemen.
Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Iran Nuclear Deal on May 8, 2018. New sanctions were put in place, but Iran was still committed to the multilateral agreement, and it still violated it repeatedly. Last year, Iran had stockpiled enriched low-grade uranium in excess of the limitations of the nuclear deal, and began injecting uranium gas into advanced centrifuges.
There are other examples of flagrant violations of the Iran nuclear deal from it’s inception to the present, which makes Iran’s statement meaningless virtue signaling about a deal they never took seriously to begin with. The media will spin Iran’s statement as proof the Iran Deal had been working and Trump’s retaliation for the attack on our embassy is to blame for Iran’s actions henceforth. But the truth is Iran never respected the limitations of the nuclear deal, and frequently violated the terms.
This story is developing…
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis