Forget uranium enrichment: Has Iran mastered time travel?
Last month, the Trump White House put out a typically Orwellian statement, chock-filled with lies, distortions, and half-truths about Iran and the 2015 nuclear deal. One line in particular stood out from the rest: “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.”
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson Jul 1st, 2019
Huh? The Iranians were violating an agreement — before it even existed?
Is it any surprise that even the foreign minister of Iran took to Twitter to join the online ridiculing of the White House?
The Trump administration’s lies on the topic of Iran are now beyond parody. There is, however, nothing funny about them. U.S. government lies can have deadly consequences: Never forget that hundreds of thousandsof innocent Iraqi men, women, and children, not to mention more than 4,400 U.S. military personnel, are dead today because of the sheer volume of falsehoods told by the George W. Bush administration.
So it is incumbent upon journalists to do in 2019 what we collectively did not do in 2003: Check the facts, challenge the lies, debunk the myths.
Here’s my contribution: a refutation of five of the most dishonest and inaccurate claims from the hawks — claims that brought the United States and Iran to the brink of conflict only a few weeks ago.
Lie #1: Iran Is Building a Nuclear Weapon
President Donald Trump has referred to Iran’s “quest for nuclear weapons” and claimed the Islamic Republic will soon be “on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has argued, “Even after the deal, Iran continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons program for future use.”
The truth is that while it is accurate to speak of an Iranian nuclear program, which is legal under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is an utter lie to speak of an Iranian nuclear weapons program — as countless news organizations have also done.
As long ago as 2007, the U.S. intelligence community produced a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran which offered what then-President George W. Bush would later describe in his memoir as a “stunning” and “eye-popping” conclusion that “tied my hands on the military side”: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.”
Nothing has changed since then. In January, then-Director of National Intelligence, Trump appointee, and former Republican congressman Dan Coats reaffirmed the consensus view of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies when he told the Senate: “We continue to assess that Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device.”
Nuclear weapons program? What nuclear weapons program?'
Read more: Here Are Five Lies About Iran That We Need to Refute to Stop Another Illegal War