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17 ridiculous things the president said at the Iran news conference

_84299226_84299225President Obama defended his nuclear deal with Iran during a news conference on Wednesday, saying the deal represented a “powerful display of American leadership and diplomacy.” (AP)

The president, for proponents of the Iran deal, gave a deeply disturbing news conference that suggested he does not know what is in the deal, does not have a grasp of the factual record and/or thinks he can get away with huge misrepresentations. And, to boot, he confirmed many of the serious criticisms of the deal. I imagine opponents of the deal will have a field day with these and other statements:

1. “With this deal, we cut off every single one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear program, a nuclear weapons program.” Not true. After eight years, the precise restrictions end. Oops, he says it himself: “And Iran’s nuclear program will be under severe limits for many years.”

2. “With this deal, if Iran violates its commitments, there will be real consequences, nuclear-related sanctions that have helped to cripple the Iranian economy will snap back into place.” False again. The deal spells out laborious inspection procedures that include a 24-day notification period. Parchin, for example, is not even included. To snap back sanctions, a committee including Russia and China must agree by a majority.

3. “[E]ven with this deal, we will continue to have profound differences with Iran: its support of terrorism, its use of proxies to destabilize parts of the Middle East.” Then why sunset the arms and missile embargoes?

4. Contrary to Secretary of State John Kerry’s representations, he confirms there is a sunset: “We will have installed an unprecedented inspections regime. And that will remain in place not just for 10 years, but for example on the stockpiles, will continue to 15 years.”

5. “And my hope is that building on this deal, we can continue to have conversations with Iran that incentivize them to behave differently in the region, to be less aggressive, less hostile, more cooperative, to operate the way we expect nations in the international community to behave. But we’re not counting on it.” This is the most bizarre comment of all. What basis is there for hope? And if we don’t count on it, we are giving an aggressive regime access to conventional arms, billions of dollars and an industrial-size nuclear infrastructure.

6. “So this deal is not contingent on Iran changing its behavior.” Well, maybe that is the most outrageous confession.

7. “Will we seek to gain more cooperation from them in resolving issues like Syria or what’s happening in Iraq, to stop encouraging Houthis in Yemen, we’ll continue to engage with them.” Really? Won’t we be giving them billions to support these proxies?

8. “[I]n fact, having resolved the nuclear issue, we will be in a stronger position to work with Israel, work with the Gulf countries, work with our other partners, work with the Europeans to bring additional pressure to bear on Iran around those issues that remain of concern.” Actually, they are all traumatized and it will takes years to regain their trust.

9. “And for all the objections of Prime Minister Netanyahu or, for that matter, some of the Republican leadership that’s already spoken, none of them have presented to me or the American people a better alternative.” This is categorically false. Others have suggested increased sanctions, a more credible threat of force and inflicting damage on Iran’s surrogates.
President Obama defended his nuclear deal with Iran during a news conference on Wednesday, saying the deal represented a “powerful display of American leadership and diplomacy.” (AP)


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