Obama says Trump Withdrawing from Iran Deal is 'Serious Mistake.'

May 09, 2018

Former President Obama released a blistering criticism Tuesday of the U.S. pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal, calling President Trump’s decision “misguided.”

Obama and other top officials from his administration expressed deep frustrations and worries that the Trump’s decision not only turns our back to U.S. allies in Europe who have fought to keep the deal intact but also could potentially lead to another war in the Middle East.

Obama offered a nearly 1,000-word synopsis of why he believes the deal, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], is necessary to extending peace and preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

He said the decision to back out of the 2015 deal, along with reinstating sanctions, risks eroding both relationships with European allies and the credibility of the U.S. to adhere to its commitments.

“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,” Obama said. “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.”

President Trump said he had no choice but to withdraw from the agreement, calling it a “horrible, one-sided deal” that “didn’t bring peace” and “never will.”

Trump claimed “the decaying and the rotten structure” of the agreement does not block Iran from developing nuclear weapons and the deal “defective at its core.”

Under the terms of the accord, the U.S. and other world leaders withdrew economic sanctions on Iran in return for it giving up the means to make nuclear weapons. But the deal has time limits and does not address Iran’s ballistic missile program or regional policies.

Obama laid out six points that acknowledged both criticisms of the deal and what he says it has accomplished. He said the accord 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,” Obama said.

Obama concluded Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal was a “serious mistake” that could lead to a war, a dangerous regime obtaining nuclear weapons and the potential for an arms race in the Middle East.

“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,” Obama said. “In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong, principled diplomacy to secure our country.”

Others, including European allies, were quick to express both frustration and concern over Trump’s decision. Leaders from the Obama Administration called it a dangerous choice that could virtually eliminate the chance of keeping nuclear weapons from Iran.

“My thoughts on President Trump’s Iran statement:”
– @John Kerry (@JohnKerry)

John Kerry, who worked as Secretary of State under Obama and worked to broker the deal with Iran and other world leaders, said withdrawing now will drag “the world back to the brink we faced a few years ago.”

“Today’s announcement weakens out security, breaking America’s work, isolates us from our European allies, puts Israel at greater risk, empowers Iran’s hardlines and reduces our global leverage to address Tehran’s misbehavior,” Kerry said in a statement.

Talking with MSNBC, Kerry said the president has “literally taken a situation where there was no crisis and created crisis.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Trump’s comments about brokering a better deal with Iran is “an illusion.”

“It took years of sanctions pressure, painstaking diplomacy, and the full support of the international community to achieve that goal. We have none of that in place today,” Biden said. “President Trump has manufactured a crisis for his own political interests that puts us on a collision course not only with an adversary but also with our closest partners.”





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