Mike Pompeo can’t get through a single interview without telling a bald-faced lie. Here he lies about Iran again:
They’re investing in missile systems that they’re not allowed to have. They continue – indeed, they announced just yesterday that they’re going to continue to do more research and development on their nuclear weapon systems [bold mine-DL]. Those things are unacceptable.
The Iranian government announced no such thing, and Iran has no “nuclear weapon systems.” Iran has no nuclear weapons program, and hasn’t had anything like that for more than fifteen years. Pompeo is promoting an extremely dangerous lie here, and as usual he is never challenged on what he says. The Trump administration is desperate to deceive the public into thinking that Iran seeks nuclear weapons when that is not happening. They dishonestly put modest Iranian responses to U.S. violations of the JCPOA in the worst light in the hopes that people don’t realize that their reckless and destructive Iran policy has failed and has brought us dangerously close to an unnecessary war.
The so-called “third step” that the Iranian government announced this week was that they were no longer going to respect the JCPOA’s limits on research and development. They taking this step in response to the continued economic war being waged against them by the Trump administration after it violated the deal and reimposed sanctions. The purpose of these limited, reversible steps is to pressure the other parties to the agreement to deliver on their end of the bargain. To date, our European allies have failed to deliver, and so Iran keeps taking these steps.
The Times article on the announcement makes another important point:
Rescinding the limits on research and development violates one of the accord’s core principles, but does not necessarily put the Iranians any closer to the ability to make a bomb.
Iran continues to reduce compliance with an agreement that the U.S. reneged on more than a year ago, and it is going to continue doing that as long as the U.S. keeps illegitimate sanctions in place. That doesn’t mean that Iran is going to start pursuing nuclear weapons, and it is important to understand that none of this would be happening had the U.S. not broken its word and violated the agreement first. If the U.S. eased or lifted the sanctions, it is likely that Iran would respond in kind by reversing some of its recent actions. Of course, the Trump administration wants to drive Iran out of the JCPOA because they want the deal to collapse, and they want it to collapse because they see it as an obstacle to creating a pretext for conflict.
The administration’s Iran policy is a complete failure that has needlessly increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran to the detriment of both countries, and the only way that Pompeo can sell this policy to the public is by constantly, shamelessly lying about Iran and the nuclear deal.