Trump knows Iran is dangerous, nuke deal is flawed – but liberals still desperate to save it (Fox News Opinion, 9/24/19)

Fox News Opinion
By Fred Fleitz

President Trump made it clear in his speech to the UN General Assembly today that he is not backing down on his successful Maximum Pressure campaign against Iran.  He said today “All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s blood lust. As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened.”

But as tensions with Iran reach a fever pitch due to the recent attack on Saudi oil facilities launched from Iran, President Trump’s critics have doubled down on their arguments that he is responsible for a surge in Iran’s belligerent behavior. They argue that the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA) with Iran was a good deal, and that Iran has been complying with it. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, insisted this is the case in an appearance on Fox News Channel.

Although these claims are treated as the gospel truth by the media, the evidence is clear – and increasing – that the JCPOA is a bad deal Iran has violated from the beginning.

First of all, the JCPOA is an extremely weak agreement that did little to slow Iran’s nuclear weapons program, has very weak verification and allows Iran to engage in nuclear weapons-related work – such as uranium enrichment and developing advanced enrichment centrifuges – while the agreement is in place. Among other major flaws, the agreement lifted sanctions from Iranian terrorist individuals and organizations and omitted Iran’s ballistic missile program which is widely viewed as a delivery system for Iranian nuclear warheads.

As a result, a majority of the American people strongly opposed the JCPOA in September 2015, when it faced a vote in Congress. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as well as Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. – the top Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee – voted to disapprove the JCPOA.

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