Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) was quite adamant that Hillary Clinton’s work on the Iran nuclear deal led to the elimination of the country’s atomic weapons program. The problem is that it’s totally false. It didn’t. It merely delayed Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons (via ABC News):
Kaine: "She worked a tough negotiation with nations around the world to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot."
Pence: "Eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program?"
Kaine: "Absolutely without firing a shot and instead of 175,000 American troops deployed overseas we now have 15,000. These are very very... "
Explanation: The nuclear agreement reached between six world powers and Iran last year does not completely eliminate the Iranian nuclear program. Its major achievement, as told by the Obama administration, was getting Iran to commit to reduce its stockpile of nuclear material and cease further enrichment, effectively extending the time it would take Iran to build a bomb.
The New York Times was a tad gentler, calling Kaine’s remark
Senator Tim Kaine’s assessment gives Hillary Clinton more credit than she or the Obama administration deserves. It is true that the nuclear agreement sharply cuts back the number of centrifuges and nuclear material Iran can have, prolonging the period of time Iran would need to manufacture a weapon. But it does not eliminate Iran's nuclear infrastructure, and the deal has a sunset clause, meaning Iran will be able to resume its work after the deal expires in 15 years.
So, it’s safe to assume that in 15 years Iran will once again try to gain access to a nuclear weapon. In fact, President Obama admitted that once the deal expires, the country would be able to have a nuclear material to make a bomb within months. Let’s be honest here: a military action was becoming a more likely course of action. Obama didn’t want that, so we gave away the store so Mom Jeans wouldn’t have to make a tough decision.
In the process, we gave Iran $1.7 billion to release four detained Americans as soon as their plane was wheels up from Tehran. It was later discovered that maybe as much as $33.6 billion in secret payments were also given to Iran between 2014 and 2015 during the nuclear negotiations. We also lifted banking sanctions on the same day our hostages were released in January.
What’s more is that Iran’s nuclear stockpile has increased since the deal. German intelligence is saying that the country is looking to acquire banned missiles and its related components that are strictly prohibited in the deal. So, it’s quite clear that they’re not even honoring the agreement—and why would they. What’s more is that Iran is allowed to inspect its own key nuclear site that’s at the center of the nation’s nuclear weapons speculation that has everyone on edge. The deal is being disregarded by the Iranians and it has no accountability measures that much of an enforcement component. That’s…smart power indeed.