Obama: Republicans Can't Seem to Understand How Well the Iran Deal is Working

Posted: Nov 15, 2016 1:30 PM

The benighted masses just can't seem to wrap their addled minds around the staggering successes of the Obama era, you see. The president adopted a similar approach to Obamacare while stumping for Hillary, which we dealt with in some detail -- and which the American people soundly rejected at the polls. He repeated his weak defense of his failing healthcare law at his first post-election press conference Monday afternoon, also dialing up the "my critics don't understand reality" rhetoric regarding his nuclear accord with the anti-American regime in Tehran. The problem, Obama asserts, is the "gap" between conservative rhetoric and the facts on the ground. Skip ahead to the (46:40) mark, and watch from there:

(1) Obama says he was "proud" of the "robust debate" over the merits of the Iran deal, in which "people of goodwill" argued passionately on sides of the issue. Fact check: The debate over the deal was, indeed, intense and substantive. While patting himself on the back for the tone of that discussion, Obama appears to forget that he accused his domestic critics -- whom he derided as "crazies" -- of making "common cause" with death-to-America zealots in Iran. This disgraceful episode must also slip Obama's mind when he reflects with pride on his party's contribution to the Iran debate.

(2) Ultimately, Obama asserts, his administration was "able to persuade" members of Congress and the public to support the agreement. Fact check: His team did not convince people to back the accord. A large majority of the American people, and a substantial bipartisan majority of Congress, were opposed to it.  The proposal was so unpopular, in fact, that Senate Democrats mounted filibusters to prevent a vote, thus sparing Obama a political embarrassment. This is the opposite of persuasion.

(3) At the time, the "main argument" against the agreement was that Iran wouldn't abide by its terms, Obama says, declaring that "we now have over a year of evidence that they have abided by the agreement." Fact check: Iran's long history of cheating was only one of several major critiques of the deal, including insufficient inspection requirements, overly generous concessions on technological development, and -- most importantly -- the fact that once western-imposed restrictions automatically expire, Iran will emerge as a quasi-legitimized threshold nuclear-armed state. Obama himself has effectively conceded that final crucial point. Furthermore, the regime has not "abided by the agreement." They've violated its spirit (according to both Obama and the United Nations) on illegal ballistic missile tests, and then there was this very recent development:

Iran has exceeded a soft limit on sensitive material set under its nuclear deal with major powers, the U.N. atomic watchdog said on Wednesday, hours after Donald Trump - who has strongly criticized the agreement - won the U.S. presidential election. It is the second time Tehran has surpassed the 130 metric tonne threshold for heavy water, a material used as a moderator in reactors like Iran's unfinished one at Arak, since the deal was put in place in January. It had 130.1 tonnes of the material on Tuesday, the watchdog said..."On 2 November 2016, the director general expressed concerns related to Iran's stock of heavy water to the vice president of Iran and president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, ... Ali Akbar Salehi," the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a confidential report seen by Reuters. The IAEA is policing the restrictions placed on Iran's nuclear activities under the deal it signed with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The agreement also lifted international sanctions against Tehran.

German intelligence also reported over the summer that Iran has continued its clandestine efforts to procure illicit nuclear components.  Finally, Obama ignored the ransom payment debacle, and falsely implied that the Israeli government has come around on the agreement, which they have not. There is a gap between rhetoric and reality here, just not the one Obama thinks exists.