John Bolton is in Israel this weekend, and he continues to lie brazenly about Iran and its nuclear program:
“Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, its threats to exceed the limits set in the failed Iran nuclear deal in the coming days … are not signs of a nation seeking peace,” Bolton told reporters during a visit to Israel.
Bolton frequently tells these lies in public, but he is almost never called out for them by the journalists in the room and news reports almost never explain that Bolton’s assertions are unfounded and untrue. The National Security Advisor has learned over the years that if he states things vehemently enough he tends to get away with lying about important foreign policy issues. Unfortunately, news outlets usually just quote his statements without offering any context or giving their audience the accurate information they need to recognize the deception Bolton is engaged in. News reports that quote Bolton on Iran should also mention that he was a paid advocate of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), a deranged cult of exiles that seeks regime change in Iran, and they should add that Bolton has a history of manipulating and distorting intelligence to suit his needs. There are multiple red flags that need to be raised every time Bolton talks about Iran so that the public won’t be misinformed, and most of the time all of them are omitted. No one has less credibility to talk about Iran than Bolton, but for some reason his statements are treated as if they are something more than dishonest propaganda delivered by a fanatic.
Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran does not want them. Iran cannot build them. The reason that Iran cannot build them is that their government already agreed to significant restrictions on their nuclear program and they also agreed to intrusive inspections to verify that they were keeping to those restrictions. Iran has demonstrated consistently for more than three years that it does not want nuclear weapons, and in return the U.S. broke its promises, ripped away the sanctions relief that had been pledged as our part of the agreement, and began waging a relentless economic war against them to strangle Iran’s economy and impoverish its people.
In response to more than a year of this relentless economic warfare and the failure of the other parties to the agreement to deliver Iran the sanctions relief that they promised to provide, Iran announced that it would exceed the limits on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. That was not a signal that they intend to start seeking nuclear weapons, but was instead the least provocative move available to them to protest against the illegitimate sanctions imposed on them. It was meant to pressure the other parties to the agreement to step up their efforts to secure Iran some benefits from the deal that they have been honoring. The Trump administration has been deliberately working to drive Iran out of the nuclear deal so that they can have a pretext for conflict. As soon as Iran reduces its compliance even a little in protest against the administration’s outrageous treatment, administration officials suddenly feign concern about a minor, reversible breach of Iran’s obligations when they have violated all of our government’s obligations under the deal. When Bolton tries to use this modest Iranian response to “maximum pressure” to accuse Iran of harboring intentions of developing nuclear weapons, he is misrepresenting everything in order to promote the larger lie about Iran and nuclear weapons.
Even Bolton’s own lies can’t help but point to the truth. If Iran is only now threatening to exceed limits set by the nuclear deal, that is a reminder that Iran has been faithfully complying with the deal in full ever since it was implemented. The deal has not “failed” at all, but has done exactly what it was supposed to do with respect to limiting the nuclear program. Had the U.S. not reneged on the deal as Bolton wanted, there would be no danger of Iran exceeding these limits because there would be no “maximum pressure” campaign to protest against. The Trump administration has been actively encouraging Iran to violate the deal or abandon it entirely. No one should take them seriously when they turn around and complain about the violations they caused. Bolton wants the deal to collapse so that he can exploit and demagogue the nuclear issue. He knows perfectly well that Iran isn’t seeking nuclear weapons, just as he knows very well that the nuclear deal is working as intended, but he chooses to lie about all of this because that gets him closer to his goals of war and regime change.
As far as the nuclear issue is concerned, Iran has committed to keeping its nuclear program peaceful and it has followed through on those commitments. Bolton’s phony concern for nonproliferation is revealed as the fraud it is every time that he rails against the successful nonproliferation agreement that is still working even after the U.S. reneged on it and sought to destroy it. If preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons was the real concern, Bolton and the rest of the Trump administration would not be trying to kill the deal. The fact that they have been obsessed with killing the deal proves that their intentions are destructive and malign. The deal has been an obstacle to the war Bolton wants, and so he has done all he can to remove that obstacle to get that war. If Trump wants to avoid a war, the essential first step is to remove Bolton from his administration.