News & Politics

Fact Check: 2020 Democrats Claim Iran Nuclear Deal 'Was Working' Even Though It Wasn't

From left, Democratic presidential candidates businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., stand on stage, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

During Tuesday night’s debate in Iowa, Joe Biden made the bizarre claim that the Iran nuclear deal was working. “It was working, it was being held… tightly. There was no movement on the part of the Iranian government to get closer to nuclear weapons.” His opponents on stage all echoed the lie that the nuclear deal had effectively contained the Iranian regime.

Except that’s complete hogwash.

Just ask Barack Obama, whom Biden namedrops so frequently on the campaign trail. He admitted that the Iran nuclear deal wouldn’t stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, that it would only delay the inevitable.

Three months after the deal was signed, Iran launched a ballistic missile test, in violation of the very agreement.

Nearly a year after the deal was signed, Obama conceded that Iran was already violating the “spirit” of the deal. By the spring of 2016, Iran had officially violated the terms of the nuclear deal, as well as U.N. resolutions, 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 UN’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.

Does that sound like there was “no movement on the part of the Iranian government” to get closer to nuclear weapons?

Keep in mind, this was all while Joe Biden was still vice-president.

There have been violations since then as well. Iran refused to allow nuclear inspections of military sites, which they were required to do. This was a provision of the deal that Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, deliberately misled the American people about in 2015.

In December of 2017, then-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley presented evidence that Iran was violating the nuclear deal by exporting missiles and other lethal weapons to rebels in Yemen. This past September,  Iran admitted it was using “arrays of advanced centrifuges prohibited by its 2015 nuclear deal and can enrich uranium ‘much more beyond’ current levels to weapons-grade material, taking a third step away from the accord…”

Thanks to all the money Obama gave Iran, America became less safe. Obama gave Iran access to the American financial system and sent them billions in sanctions relief, which they conceded might end up rebuilding Iran’s military, and of terrorists.

And those missiles Iran fired at our troop in Iraq last week? Barack Obama gave them the money for those missiles.

But, hey, to Democrats, that means it was working.


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