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Trump’s Exit From the Bad Iran Deal Has Succeeded Where the Deal Itself Failed

Trump’s Exit From the Bad Iran Deal Has Succeeded Where the Deal Itself Failed

“The Trump administration has succeeded in dramatically raising the costs to Iran for its sinister behavior, at no cost to the United States or our allies”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqTEjriSeI4

Then-president Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal was widely condemned on the right and by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who referred to the deal as a “bad” and “very bad deal.”  One of then-candidate Trump’s campaign promises was to extract the the U.S. from this very bad deal, and he did so in the second year of his presidency.

Much to the chagrin of Democrats, the DNC, and the former Obama administration, this withdrawal from the Iran deal has been far more successful in stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities and from sponsoring worldwide terrorism than the original, bad deal was sold to accomplish.

Here at LI, we covered the deal’s development and eventual passage:

In his post, I’ve Read the Nuclear Deal, Mr. President, and It’s Awful, David Gerstman noted in 2015:

Iran has maintained its enrichment program, and will be allowed to continued it under the terms of the JCPOA. It still has not come clean about its past nuclear work, and for the sanctions relief to take hold, Iran apparently only has to commit to admitting its past nuclear work to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The JCPOA, in effect, legalizes Iran’s years of violations and rewards them for limiting their level of violations in the future.

The best analogy I could think of would be a corporation having been found in violation of emission standards for years agreeing to a deal that would absolve them of all fines accumulated over the years, have the violations expunged from government records and allowing the corporation to continue polluting at 50% over the standards instead of 100%.

Ultimately and in toto, the Iran Nuclear Deal was a very bad deal, yet the left was adamant about keeping it in place, claiming that its removal would result in Mid-East turmoil and worse.

None of that happened, though, and President Trump is even earning praise from the likes of the New York Times’ Bret Stephens.

It’s been nearly a year since Donald Trump made the decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, to loud cries that it would bring nothing but woe to the United States and our interests in the Middle East.

So far, the result has been closer to the opposite.

That much was further made clear thanks to excellent reporting this week by The Times’s Ben Hubbard. “Iran’s financial crisis, exacerbated by American sanctions,” he writes from Lebanon, “appears to be undermining its support for militant groups and political allies who bolster Iranian influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere.”

Well, heavens to Betsy. When the Obama administration negotiated the nuclear deal, the president acknowledged that sanctions relief for Tehran would inevitably mean more money for groups like Hezbollah. But he also insisted it wouldn’t make much of a difference in terms of Iran’s capacity to make mischief in the Middle East.

Hubbard’s reporting suggests otherwise. Iran can no longer finance civilian projects or credit lines in Syria. Hezbollah fighters and Palestinian militants aren’t being paid, and their families are losing subsidized housing. Even Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has complained publicly about the effects of U.S. sanctions.

Nor are those the only benefits of withdrawal. The U.S. is no longer looking the other way at Hezbollah’s criminal enterprises, including drug smuggling and money laundering, the way it did during the Obama administration in order to engage Iran diplomatically. Iran’s protest movement, quashed in 2009, has shown signs of renewed life, not least because of public fury that the regime spends money on foreign adventures while economic conditions worsen at home.

Most importantly, Iran has not used the U.S. withdrawal from the deal to restart its nuclear programs, despite its threats to do so.

Stephens, who is demonstrably not a Trump fan,  concludes his piece with the following:

The Trump administration has succeeded in dramatically raising the costs to Iran for its sinister behavior, at no cost to the United States or our allies. That’s the definition of a foreign-policy achievement. . . . [emphasis mine]

Meanwhile, 2020 Democrat presidential hopefuls are vowing to undo this foreign-policy achievement in favor of rejoining the bad Iran deal.

Newsmax reports:

Several candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 have vowed to reenter the nuclear agreement with Iran that President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from last year.

The candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as well as less-known contenders like Florida mayor Wayne Messam and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, all told Al-Monitor that they will seek to rejoin the agreement if elected.

A spokesperson for Warren said that “as long as Iran continues to abide by the terms of the deal, she would return to it as president in order to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

A Sanders aide said that, “as president, Sen. Sanders would rejoin the JCPOA and would also be prepared to talk to Iran on a range of other issues, which is what Trump should’ve done instead of simply walking away. Rejoining the JCPOA would mean meeting the United States’ commitments under the agreement, and that includes sanctions relief.”

Harris’ spokesperson said that the senator “would rejoin the Iran deal if the US could verify Iran is not cheating and is complying with the strict requirements detailed in the agreement.”

The 2020 election may hinge on a number of aspects—from personality contests and socialism vs. capitalism to debates about the First and Second Amendments, so something like the Iran deal can easily get lost in the shuffle. It shouldn’t.

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Comments

JusticeDelivered | March 30, 2019 at 8:30 pm

“Even Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has complained publicly about the effects of U.S. sanctions.”

His whining is good, his death better. I do not believe that people like this are salvageable. That includes Iran’s leadership.

Several candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 have vowed to reenter the nuclear agreement with Iran that President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from last year.

The candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as well as less-known contenders like Florida mayor Wayne Messam and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, all told Al-Monitor that they will seek to rejoin the agreement if elected.
————————–
Big surprise, they all hate Jewish people.

    Milhouse in reply to 4fun. | March 30, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    They don’t hate Jewish people, they hate the Jewish people. It’s an important difference, and it explains how they can have relatives and genuine friends who are Jewish, or themselves be Jewish, without cognitive dissonance. It’s Napoleon’s old proclamation: “To the Jew as an individual, everything; to the Jews as a people, nothing”. It’s the denial that Jews are a nation, the insistence that Jews are merely Frenchmen, Germans, Americans, or whatever, who just happen to nominally profess a different religion, or to descend from great-grandparents who did. This is not even the zionist pretense that “the House of Israel is like all the nations”; this is denying that it is a nation at all.

This is a great achivement, but there’s two things I don’t understand: Why he took more than a year to pull the trigger, and why he never invoked the snapback provisions of the original UN Security Council resolution.

Remember, 0bama had written into the resolution that any party can give the Secretary General notice that it doesn’t believe Iran is in compliance, does not have to provide any evidence, and 30 days from such notice all UN sanctions automatically snap back into place (except for existing contracts) unless the Security Council passes a new resolution to prevent it — which any permanent member can veto.

Trump could have given this notice on Jan-20-2017, and on Feb-19-2017 the mandatory UN sanctions would have automatically come back, which were binding on all UN members. Russia and China would of course ignore them just as they did before the deal, but the EU would be forced by its own courts to comply. And any country not complying would be unable to complain about the US or Israel or anyone else allegedly treating Security Council resolutions with the same contempt.

So why did he not do it then, and why has he still not done it?

    healthguyfsu in reply to Milhouse. | March 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    I hope he doesn’t.

    I don’t trust the UN, EU, or any of that lot to make good on their commitments.

    They’ve already shown that they won’t hold up their end of many bargains.

      Milhouse in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 30, 2019 at 11:33 pm

      The UN doesn’t have to be trusted since it doesn’t have to do anything. 30 days from when the snapback is triggered, the sanctions come back automatically. It takes a Security Council resolution to stop them, and the USA can veto that. So there’s nothing to trust.

      As for whether European courts will enforce them on their governments, their past performance says they will, but if they don’t that may be even better, since it would be a blatant violation of binding international law, and thus undermine their capacity to complain when they allege anyone else does so.

    tom_swift in reply to Milhouse. | March 31, 2019 at 12:53 am

    Perhaps because DJT believes (or, rather, realizes) that the development of a Persian atomic bomb will not be stopped by the UN. Something more resolute and effective will be needed.

      Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | March 31, 2019 at 2:30 am

      How does that make sense? There used to be international sanctions on Iran, which all UN members were required to enforce whether they liked it or not. Those don’t exist right now, but since Jan-20-2017 Trump has had the means to bring them back, unilaterally, and yet has failed to do so. I cannot understand it.

      Is he unaware of this provision? Has nobody told him of it? How can that be? 0bama made a big deal of it at the time, telling everyone about it. Not being the kind of person to take him at his word, I read the text of the resolution, and sure enough it was there, black on white, in unambiguous language. JCPOA itself has a complicated dispute-resolution mechanism, which Iran could of course manipulate to its heart’s desire, but the Security Council resolution (which is the only thing binding in international law) has none of that. US gives notice, 30 days later, boom, the sanctions come back, except for existing contracts.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to tom_swift. | March 31, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Frankly, I have thought for a long time that in light of Iran’s interest in nuclear technology that we should send a few to study. They would have a few milliseconds to determine how effective they are.

Is there still anyone here who would still argue obama was not a traitor?

    Yes. He does not fit the constitutional definition, which requires adherence to the enemy. Anything done for domestic political reasons cannot be treason. 0bama doesn’t love Iran, he just hates America.

      Barry in reply to Milhouse. | March 31, 2019 at 12:28 am

      I believe he loves Iran and hates America.

      tom_swift in reply to Milhouse. | March 31, 2019 at 12:31 am

      0bama doesn’t love Iran

      A fact not in evidence.

      Obama’s attitude toward Persia’s somewhat weird form of Islam is essentially unknown.

      Wrong. Obama gave aid and confort to ISIS in the form of money to Iran, as well as sabotaging the US military’s efforts to destroy it, allowing ISIS to grow like a monster across the middle east.

      Pursuant to 18 U.S. Code § 2381, obama – and everyone who committed treason with him – should “suffer death” or imprisonment:

      “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States…adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
      (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)
      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2381

        You’re ignoring the element of adherence. Giving direct aid and comfort to an actual enemy, in wartime, is not treason unless it is motivated by support for the enemy’s cause. If it’s motivated by something else, such as domestic political considerations or family feeling, it’s not treason because there is no adherence.

We sure could use those pallets of cash for wall building, couldn’t we?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to TrickyRicky. | March 31, 2019 at 10:04 am

    I still think that there should be substantial claw back at at least 20% of money being transferred by people to their relatives in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Over 70 billion was transferred in 2016, with an improving economy that number has surely increased.

    This would make illegals pay, and by depriving Mexico and other countries part of that cash flow, they would be paying for the wall.

    I find it hard to believe that Mexico is not ecstatic that their people are entering America illegally. We need to make them sorry.

    Small numbers of illegals can be considered individual acts, 20-30 million should be considered an act of war.

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