[Vision2020] Obama Responds to Trump's Iran Pull-Out

Darrell Keim keim153 at gmail.com
Wed May 9 10:22:05 PDT 2018

Without commenting on the issue at hand, I have an observation.

Can anyone recall a past president so publicly rebuking/countering his
successor on a major policy change?

On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 9:12 AM, Nicholas Gier <ngier006 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Former President Barack Obama released a statement after Trump withdrew
> the US from the Iran nuclear deal that amounted to a point by point
> debunking of Trump’s falsehoods about the agreement.
> The statement provided to PoliticusUSA by Obama’s office is lengthy but
> important:
> There are few issues more important to the security of the United States
> than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even
> more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States
> negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first
> place.
> The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our
> European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of
> Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest – it has significantly rolled
> back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy
> can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what
> the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea.
> Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to
> succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes
> – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.
> That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the
> JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our
> country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals
> negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and
> priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting
> of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s
> credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.
> Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates
> that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts
> about the JCPOA.
> First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and
> the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition
> that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA
> together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union,
> Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal,
> unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.
> Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For
> decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the
> point where they could rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a
> bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was
> implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have
> produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges
> (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and
> eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium – the raw
> materials necessary for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed
> strict limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and achieved real results.
> Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust – it is rooted in the most
> far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms
> control deal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are strictly monitored.
> International monitors also have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply
> chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this
> monitoring and inspections regime would go away.
> Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of
> my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued
> to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has
> reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the
> international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance – the
> International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
> Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining a
> nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive
> inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the
> provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen
> until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is
> little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.
> Finally, the JCPOA was never intended to solve all of our problems with
> Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior –
> including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its
> neighbors. But that’s precisely why it was so important that we prevent
> Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Every aspect of Iranian behavior that
> is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is
> unconstrained. Our ability to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior – and
> to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies – is strengthened with the
> JCPOA, and weakened without it.
> Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at
> risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake.
> Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing
> choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. We
> all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden
> an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose
> unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in
> the world’s most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear
> program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are
> faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to
> prevent it.
> In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong,
> principled diplomacy to secure our country. We have been safer in the years
> since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats,
> many members of Congress, and our allies. Going forward, I hope that
> Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong,
> principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our
> country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.
> Obama made a critical point
> Much of Trump’s argument for killing the Iran deal was based on the false
> premise that the deal was a failure if it didn’t address all of the
> problems with Iran’s behavior, but the nuclear deal was never meant to do
> that. By design, it dealt with Iran’s nuclear program. Republicans have
> used this rhetorical device on the issue of health care, for example, as
> well. It is a false argument that seeks to turn something successful into a
> failure.
> It is rare for a former president to come out with such a strong statement
> against an action taken by a current president. All evidence and even
> members of Trump’s own administration say that the deal was working.
> For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC
> group. <https://www.facebook.com/groups/1944900445770755/>
> --
> A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
> shall never sit in.
> -Greek proverb
> “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
> Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
> from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
> lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
> guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
> understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.
> --Immanuel Kant
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