Day 347: Trump Invokes ‘Obama Administration’ for Seemingly No Reason

Donald Trump loves to divide. No one blames predecessors or other people quite like him. In fact, if you ask him, he’d surely tell you that in 347 days he hasn’t made a single mistake.

Over the past few days, Trump has been tweeting about Iran a lot.

This morning, Trump continues to tweet about Iran and, in part, blamed Barack Obama and his team.

From the U.S.’s end, the Iran deal had nothing to do with human rights or repression, but had everything to do with preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. While they were once mere months from developing a weapon, the deal pushed that time frame back by forcing Iran to ship enriched uranium out of the country, dismantling powerful centrifuges, and providing access to an unprecedented level of inspections of their facilities.

In turn, the U.S. lifted sanctions on Iran.

The deal, while not perfect, has largely been very effective for the U.S and the International Atomic Energy Agency continues to find that Iran is complying with their end of the deal.

As The Atlantic wrote at the two-year mark of the deal being signed:

In fact, the deal is doing exactly what is was supposed to do: prevent Iran from acquiring enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, demonstrate to the Iranian public the benefits of cooperation with the international community, and buy time for potential changes in Iranian politics and foreign policy.

Where would Iran be today without the agreement? It’s hard to know for sure, but even if Tehran had continued only to steadily expand its nuclear program as it had for the previous two decades, it would today likely be operating the more than 20,000 centrifuges it had at the time of the agreement. Iran would have continued enriching uranium and building its stockpiles, and it would’ve been operating a fully functional heavy-water nuclear reactor capable of producing enough plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons per year, all without the additional verification provisions put in place to ensure this was all it was doing.
What that means: Without the deal, Iran would today likely be only weeks from possessing enough weapons-usable material for a bomb. And without the verification procedures Iran committed to in the agreement, the international community would have no reliable way of knowing if it was stockpiling that material — until it was too late.

At this point, the Iran deal is actually popular among Trump’s team and even the Israelis.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have all said that unilaterally withdrawing from the JCPOA (the technical name of the Iran agreement) is not in America’s national interest. And Israel’s defense establishment has been broadly supportive of the deal.

So while Trump wants to blame political instability on Obama and an Iran deal that he asserts isn’t working, the fact simply don’t bear either of those contentions out.

347 days in, 1115 to go


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