Trump vs. truth on the Iran nuclear deal

Staff Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — In withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump outlined a rationale that contradicted the analyses of U.S. and foreign intelligence sources:
TRUMP: “The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime can still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time.” ‘’In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”
THE FACTS: This is unsupported by intelligence and other analyses. Iran was thought to be only months away from a bomb when the deal came into effect. But during the 15-year life of most provisions of the accord, Iran’s capabilities are limited to a level where it cannot produce a bomb. Already the deal has set its program back. Experts believe if Iran were to leave now, it would need at least a year to build a bomb.
Trump’s comments suggest that Iran is cheating on the deal. But in the time since the nuclear deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran was complying with the terms.
That finding is also shared in the main by U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials, though the Trump administration argues Iran exceeded limits on heavy water production.
After the 15 years are up, Iran could have an array of advanced centrifuges ready to work, the limits on its stockpile would be gone and, in theory, it could then throw itself wholeheartedly into producing highly enriched uranium.
But nothing in the deal prevents the West from trying to rein Iran in again with sanctions. The deal includes a pledge by Iran never to seek a nuclear weapon...To read more, please refer to our print or online edition.