The May 12th deadline to renew or leave the Iran deal is looming and as of Sunday afternoon, the Trump White House has given no indication which way it is leaning. But that doesn’t mean that the Iran lobby isn’t pulling out all the stops in an effort to garner support from anyone and anywhere to preserve the status quo — going so far as to circulate a letter from members of the French, British and German parliaments addressed to the U.S. Congress.
The letter is mostly filled, especially by the National Iranian American Council, with what the West Wing might call fake news.
Let’s take a look at some of them:
- “The only reason we were able to achieve this breakthrough is that we stood together. Together, Europeans and Americans have proved that a strong and united transatlantic partnership can bring about a coalition extending to Russia and China, endorsed by the international community.”
Not true. The deal was accomplished primarily through the imposition of economic sanctions, including cutting off Iran from international currency exchanges which brought its economy to a virtual standstill.
- “We were able to impose unprecedented scrutiny on the Iranian nuclear program, dismantle most of their nuclear enrichment facilities, and drastically reduce the danger of a nuclear arms race.”
Also NOPE. The nuclear deal gave the regime significant opportunities to sanitize suspected nuclear sites, extract soil samples only by Iranian personnel and prohibit the inspection of Iranian military sites. Iran was also allowed to keep and store its centrifuges while being allowed to test and install even higher performing centrifuges to enrich uranium under the deal. So, just NOPE.
And let’s not forget that the lack of restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program allowed it to vault years ahead by buying North Korean missile technology and develop weapons capable of reaching most of Europe and Asia. The first goal of any nuclearization program is to develop a payload delivery system and the Iranian regime, thanks to this relative joke of a deal has moved dangerously close to that goal.
The threat of ending the deal has served Trump well in spurring its European partners to work to address loopholes left in by the Obama administration. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visited the White House last week, hoping to persuade President Trump against pulling out of the deal by showing progress on his three main concerns: expiring limits on Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran’s ballistic-missile program and the scope of international nuclear inspections.
The bromance between Trump and Macron was blatantly obvious, and it seems that Trump might have wooed the Frenchman over to his side. Macron’s language on the deal leaving the White House was certainly more complementary and in line with Trump than it was coming in. Merkel seemed less impressed overall.
During a press conference at NATO Headquarters on Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that “absent a substantial fix,” President Trump is “unlikely” to stay in the Iran nuclear deal past May.
So what say you SOFREP? Should Trump tear up the deal as promised? Trust but verify? Acquiesce to French and German thoughts on keeping the deal in tact? Sound off in the comments!