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Trump’s Big Lie About the Nuclear Deal

Trump made [1] another bizarre statement about Iran and nuclear weapons in a new interview [2]:

Speaking in an interview with Fox News the President told Steve Hilton he was reluctant to start a war but said he ‘couldn’t let Iran have nuclear weapons’.

‘I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons,’ he told Fox News host Steve Hilton.

‘I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons – you just can’t let that happen,’ he said.

The president and other administration officials have been telling lies [3] for months that Iran still seeks nuclear weapons, but they are rarely called out for it. Trump’s declaration that he won’t “let” Iran have nuclear weapons is disturbing because it shows how divorced from reality he and his Iran policy are. At one point in the interview, he asserts that “five years from now, they’re going to have an open path to making nuclear weapons.” There’s no truth to that. It is a total fabrication. If a path to nuclear weapons existed for Iran, the nuclear deal closed it off. The thing that Trump insists he will stop has already been stopped by the deal that he stupidly calls a “horror show.” Of course, his FoxNews interviewer doesn’t challenge him when he says demonstrably false things like this.

The JCPOA has made it so that Iran cannot build nuclear weapons, and as long as Iran keeps its commitments that will remain the case for decades to come at the very least. Once Iran ratifies the IAEA’s Additional Protocol in a few years, it will be practically impossible for Iran to build nuclear weapons, and by ratifying it their government will be proving that it has no intention of doing so. If the JCPOA survives this presidency, Iran becomes progressively less likely to have nuclear weapons as time goes on. There is also no evidence that their government wants to acquire these weapons.

Despite all of the administration’s efforts to sabotage it, the nuclear deal is still working. Quitting the JCPOA has weakened the very thing that ensures that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign and his occasional threats [4] to destroy Iran give Iran incentives to leave the deal, but so far they have refrained from doing what the president and other Iran hawks obviously want them to do. The hawks hope to drive Iran out of the JCPOA so that they can use that as a pretext for attacking Iran. That is why they keep laying the groundwork for war by dishonestly claiming that Iran wants nuclear weapons when all of the evidence tells us that isn’t true.

If the president were genuinely interested in preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons, he would be a great defender of the deal that he has denounced and reneged on. The fact that he despises this agreement and has done everything he can to destroy it proves that his supposed concern about proliferation in Iran is just for show. It also shows that his “reluctance” to start a war doesn’t count for very much. The president is clearly leaving the door open to waging preventive war against Iran, and that is why he keeps repeating nonsense about Iran and nuclear weapons.

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5 Comments To "Trump’s Big Lie About the Nuclear Deal"

#1 Comment By Taras 77 On May 20, 2019 @ 11:07 am

Good article, Mr Larison!

Trump and his war mongering crew divorced from reality?? Gosh, I’m shocked.

This ziocon crew with its ziocon president has been divorced from reality almost from day one and are forced to fall back on talking points that are completely divorced from reality and are not relevant to current situation at all.

It is well known that trump does not read but jeez, now I doubt that his “advisors” read based upon how poorly he is prepared for even the most softest of softball interviews.

#2 Comment By Sid Finster On May 20, 2019 @ 1:47 pm

With all due respect, Professor, Trump and his administration know they are lying.

Like the barroom bully looking for an excuse for a fight, they don’t care, as long as they face no consequences themselves.

When it turns out that the little guy that looks like a pushover is strapped and his brother is the County Sheriff, then they will sing a very different tune.

#3 Comment By Collin On May 20, 2019 @ 2:18 pm

And Trump’s Space Force talk is keeping safe from Space Pirates! Or did Ted Cruz that. So Trump is keeping Iran from the a nuclueur is just like Lisa’s rock that Tigers away.

Th Iran situation with Trump is why I concerned on his foreign policy. It is very apparent Trump does not want to pull the trigger on military action but this hawkish talks is accomplishing nothing but fear with Iran who feels like they dealing the bar’s angry drunk.

#4 Comment By David Walters On May 20, 2019 @ 7:20 pm

I voted for Trump, primarily because he was the lesser of two evils.

But now I realize that he’s comparable in evil to Hillary.

It’s utterly disgusting that the American people cannot in some fashion have the choice between two (or three?) magnificently qualified leaders in each national, presidential election.

It’s rigged.

#5 Comment By Cary On May 20, 2019 @ 9:28 pm

Hmm an upcoming election and a embattled President threatening war? It’s a stupid move to be paid cling a fight with Iran, but it does distract from Mueller, the stench of corruption and immigrant children stolen from their parents. Appearing as a hard man defending American interests is a bonus.