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Why America pulled out of the Iran Deal

May 9, 2018

In President Trump’s speech yesterday when he withdraw from the Iran Deal (JCPOA), he said:

“At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction: that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program. Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie.”

The White House is pushing hard this line in its social media feeds. It might cause you to think that America was duped into the deal. That we found out things later that went against what we thought or that we naively believed. And that’s we America withdrew from the Iran Deal.

However, the truth is that nobody thought Iran desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program. That is why President Obama so vigorously pursued the deal. It was intended to keep Iran in check by a mutually beneficial treaty.

We went into this deal with eyes wide open and there is no new information that has come to light that changes anything everybody already knew going in to the agreement. Nor has Iran done anything to violate the terms of the treaty.

Even America’s very own National Intelligence Estimate was publicly trumpeting Iran’s nuclear ambitions in 2007 (and earlier):

“We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons” (NIE 2007).

And the IAEA’s Final Assessment document in 2015, which summarized what everybody knew going into the agreement, said

“The Agency assesses that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003. The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009” (IEAE 2015).

As I have maintained for a long time, there are many flaws in the Iran Deal, and I think even thoughtful people can maintain that it should not have been agreed to. However, it’s counter productive to believe that it was new revelations about Iran that voided the deal. There is nothing new, except the U.S. pulled out because the Trump administration did not like the deal. Simple as that.


IAEA 2015. Final Assessment on Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran’s Nuclear Programme, December 2015.

NIE 2007. National Intelligence Estimate. Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities, National Intelligence Council, November 2007.

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