Home/Daniel Larison/Bolton and Trump’s Obvious Lies About Iran

Bolton and Trump’s Obvious Lies About Iran

President Trump with Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Advisor John BoltonCredit:NATO/Flickr

The Trump administration is once again repeating some of its many lies about Iran:

In the message, Bolton tells two obvious lies. The first lie is that Iran “continues to seek nuclear weapons.” There is no evidence to support this, and there is overwhelming evidence that Iran has complied with the JCPOA’s restrictions on its nuclear program that make it practically impossible for their government to develop and build such weapons. The second lie is that Iran is developing ballistic missiles to use as delivery systems for the nukes they don’t have and aren’t seeking. Bolton is an old hand at promoting lies about other states and the weapons of mass destruction that they supposedly have. He and Trump are attempting to promote the lie that Iran is still seeking nuclear weapons to justify their aggressive and bankrupt Iran policy, and that lie needs to be countered, debunked, and exposed as often as possible.

Bolton’s third claim that Iran “remains the central banker of international terrorism.” That both exaggerates Iran’s role and requires us to ignore the many other states and private donors elsewhere in the region that are responsible for promoting, arming, and funding jihadist groups. Al Qaeda and ISIS affiliates have nothing to do with Iran, and Iran is their enemy. The sponsors of terrorist groups are far more likely to come from states that are supposedly aligned with the U.S. The next part of the statement is probably the most insulting, since it talks up the economic problems inside Iran but says nothing about the U.S. sanctions that have done so much to exacerbate those problems.

In addition to the lies and misrepresentations contained in the message, using Bolton as the messenger makes it obvious that the administration’s feigned concern for the Iranian people is cynical and empty. Bolton is one of the most prominent shills for the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) cult hated by virtually all Iranians, and he has repeatedly advocated for attacking Iran and overthrowing its government. The administration’s policy is rooted in a deep hostility for Iranians and their country, and Bolton’s role in crafting that policy is proof of that.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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