Yesterday, Trump gave a news conference and he used the opportunity to opine on several subjects. One of them was the Iran nuclear deal:
“I don’t think they’re living up to the spirit of the agreement. They are not in compliance with the agreement, and they certainly are not in the spirit of the agreement in compliance, and I think you’ll see some very strong things taking place if they don’t get themselves in compliance.”
At this point you would have thought Trump had just taken a dump in the punch bowl (this, is not outside the range of possibilities):
This is a lie. The Trump Administration itself has certified repeatedly that Iran is complying with the deal. https://t.co/fMYTIU17bo
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) August 10, 2017
Trump's continued attacks on the Iran deal probably don't provide Pyongyang huge confidence about coming to the table. Just a thought.
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) August 10, 2017
This is a key point. Any chance of a deal with DPRK goes out the window if Trump cancels a nuclear deal that Iran is complying with. https://t.co/vN98Ml2wPt
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) August 10, 2017
What you are seeing with this squalling by Rhodes, who was initially denied a security clearance because of his close ties to the Iranian regime, and the members of his self-described ‘echo chamber’ is a reaction to their eight years of effort to turn the Middle East into Iranian territory.
For the record, it was North Korea who violated an agreement with the Clinton administration and developed nuclear weapons. Why we should consider them people we can strike a deal with or why we should even care what they think is beyond me.
And Trump charged that Iran wasn't in compliance with nuclear deal — despite the State Dept re-certifying Iran's compliance pic.twitter.com/vEjukcLFd1
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) August 11, 2017
This story has been covered many times. To recap, the certification of the deal was based on the positioning that America’s allies were not yet on board with abandoning the deal and the argument that as Iran had received all of its benefits up front and the nuclear control measures were downstream it served no purpose to walk from the deal, leaving Iran with over a hundred billion in cash and sanctions relief and see the IAEA kicked out. We know that both times Trump was against the certification. This statement, sans context, is just dishonest.
— Daryl G Kimball (@DarylGKimball) August 10, 2017
This assertion is just patent bullsh**. The Iran deal is not a treaty. It has no force of law. This is how the State Department defined it at the time:
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document. The JCPOA reflects political commitments between Iran, the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China) and the European Union.
Any party can walk away from the deal at any time for any, or no, reason. But, if there were any doubts about Iran’s compliance those can be put away.
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.
For the second time, Iran has surpassed the 130 metric tonne threshold for heavy water, used to cool reactors that can produce substantial amounts of plutonium, according to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In a report issued on Wednesday, the agency monitoring the deal between Iran and six world powers noted that Iran had served notice it would resolve the issue by exporting 5 metric tonnes, substantially over the 100 kilogram (220 pound) excess amount. The shipment is believed to be leaving the country within the next few days.
And the House just passed a new round of sanctions on Iran, these targeting the IRGC, its leaders, and the companies it controls.
Trump is right. Iran is in violation of the letter and the spirit of the deal. The only remaining question is if going along with this fiction is helpful. I don’t think it is.