John Bolton met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu this week and said several ridiculous, dishonest things about the nuclear deal and Iran:

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons was a very high priority for the United States.

“It’s a question of the highest importance for the U.S. that Iran never get a deliverable nuclear weapons capability,” Bolton said, adding: “It’s why we’ve worked with our friends in Europe to convince them of the need to take stronger steps against the Iranian nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.”

These remarks are Bolton at his disingenuous worst. If preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons were such a high priority for this administration, Trump would not have reneged on an agreement that ensures that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful. Opponents of the nuclear deal place a much higher priority on strangling Iran economically and keeping it internationally isolated, and we have seen that from their eagerness to reimpose sanctions despite Iran’s ongoing compliance with the JCPOA. No one seriously interested in preventing nuclear proliferation would want to scrap a major nonproliferation agreement, but that is what Trump did on Bolton’s advice and with Netanyahu’s enthusiastic support.

There was no need to take “stronger steps” than the JCPOA because it was already working exactly as it was intended. Withdrawing from the agreement put the administration in the position of being weaker on nonproliferation than our European allies. Our allies are helping to maintain an agreement that is successfully limiting what Iran can do with its nuclear program. The U.S. is currently trying to bully our allies into forsaking their commitments and it is demanding that they act against their own security interests. Iran has never really had a full-fledged nuclear weapons program, and it certainly doesn’t have one now. Continuing to paint Iran’s peaceful nuclear program as though it were a threat is an attempt to deceive the public to make them buy into the administration’s self-serving lies about the nuclear deal.

When Trump administration officials said they wanted the nuclear deal to be “fixed,” that was a lie they told to conceal that they really wanted to renege on the agreement. Now that they have reneged on it, they are lying about the governments that are trying to keep the deal alive, and they are lying about their real goal of regime change that the deal prevented. Before the U.S. withdrew from the JCPOA, Trump and his officials lied about what the deal did and what it was supposed to do, and after the withdrawal they are lying about their desire for a “better” deal. They feigned interest in the cause of nonproliferation when it was useful to them, and now they feign concern for the Iranian people, but all of these things are just pretexts to justify endless hostility. Opponents of the JCPOA hated the nuclear deal because it stood in the way of pursuing the more coercive and aggressive policies that they have been demanding for years.