There are not many things at which Donald Trump can claim real expertise, but when it comes to the subject of lying, he is a genuine master. As CNN points out, in just one short tweet about Iran, Trump managed to lie about every single aspect of both the current situation and the history of the U.S. nuclear agreement with Iran.
Trump’s original tweet claimed that “Iran has long been secretly ‘enriching,’ in total violation” of the multiparty agreement. That’s not true. Iran has been doing nothing in secret, as the agreement has saddled its operations with an unprecedented number of international inspectors. And, until recently, those inspections have demonstrated that Iran was staying within the bounds of the agreement. Even with Iran now deliberately provoking a response in an effort to force all parties back to the table, those inspectors remain in place. There has been no “secret” enrichment.
Iran has long been secretly “enriching,” in total violation of the terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration. Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number of years. Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2019
Then Trump’s tweet describes the agreement as the “terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration.” Which is just another iteration of Trump’s claims that Obama somehow paid off Iran and set it planeloads of money—a lie that conflates the pallets of cash that really were sent into Iraq by the Bush administration with the U.S. unfreezing Iranian assets as part of the agreement. Not a dollar of U.S. funds flowed to Iran, and the total of the assets unfrozen was closer to $50 billion than $150 billion.
Finally, Trump’s tweet ended with, “Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number of years” as an excuse for his immediate withdrawal. But the truth is that even the shortest-lived parts of the agreement would have remained in place for another 10-15 years, during which time the U.S. and other parties could have negotiated the terms of an extension.
And since the purpose of the agreement was to ensure that Iran didn’t develop nuclear weapons, it’s worth noting that it forbade Iran from developing nuclear weapons forever. With no expiration date.
The deal would have also required that Iran maintain international inspections. Forever. And that it seek agreement from the deal partners for any new nuclear facility. Forever. And that it limit its total stock of uranium fuel. Forever.
What would have expired in 2030 were limits on the level of purity to which Iran could refine uranium. And thanks to Donald Trump, that limit is now being surpassed—in 2019.