President Trump is to announce his decision this afternoon on our continued participation in the Iran deal. Reasonable observers may draw inferences from President Trump’s description of it as “the worst deal ever.” If President Obama had presented it to the Senate as a treaty, it would never have been ratified. In the Senate it would not even have attained a majority, let alone the two-thirds support necessary for ratification. He therefore entered into it as an executive agreement.
Senator Tom Cotton and 46 of his colleagues pointed out in his famous March 2015 letter to the friends of John Kerry in the Iranian regime (embedded below), the deal therefore constituted “nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khameni.” He warned: “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen…” Democrats and their media adjunct wildly abused Senator Cotton and otherwise went nuts. As usual, however, Senator Cotton was — how to put it? — right.
From the perspective of opposition to the Iranian regime, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (its formal name) certainly looks like the worst deal ever. The deal lavished financial benefits and the unraveling of complicated economic sanctions at the front end. The mullahs took the money and ran. Bad as the Munich Agreement was — Winston Churchill exposed its deficiencies at the time in his remarkable speech — not even Neville Chamberlain thought to fund Hitler’s aggression.
To promote the the worst deal ever, President Obama and Secretary Kerry sank to humiliating depths. Obama and Secretary of State Kerry cited a nonexistent Iranian fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. This fatwa had never been issued and the Iranian leaders’ statements vouching for it were a lie. MEMRI’s Yigal Carmon and A. Sayyon have now collected their research on the question. It signifies. What it signifies is a complete and utter farce.
Iran violated the agreement at inception by lying about the history of its nuclear program. This was the point of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s public presentation revealing a few of the secrets of the Iranian nuclear archive — the half ton of documents removed by Israeli intelligence from Tehran to Tel Aviv. Netanyahu conducted his presentation with Trump’s blessing and encouragement. If so, it constitutes a leading indicator of Trump’s decision this afternoon.
The Iranian regime has reacted to Trump’s possible extrication of the United States from the deal with dire threats. The regime intensely desires continuation of the status quo. By the same token the American foreign policy elite foresees dire consequences if Trump follows through with disapproval of the deal (by refusing to renew current sanctions waivers). Yet the average American doesn’t like threats and must have serious doubts about the merits of a deal so dearly beloved by our avowed enemy in Iran.
Entry into the deal with Iran represented a sort of humiliation of the United States. Obama sought to reconcile us to the continuation of the Iranian regime and to amplify its influence in the Middle East. Trump finds continued certification of the deal and acquiescence in its underlying lies and rationale unacceptable. He understands the humiliation of the United States implicit in the deal. One way or another, his displeasure is bound to be made manifest this afternoon.