Politics: Fact check: Trump wrong on all 3 claims in tweet on Iran deal - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsFact check: Trump wrong on all 3 claims in tweet on Iran deal

23:15  11 july  2019
23:15  11 july  2019 Source:   cnn.com

Iran fires back at White House over claims it has been violating nuclear deal for years: 'Seriously?'

Iran fires back at White House over claims it has been violating nuclear deal for years: 'Seriously?' Iran fired back at the White House’s claims that the regime has been violating the 2015 nuclear accord for years, tweeting “seriously?”

Fact check: Trump wrong on all 3 claims in tweet on Iran deal© Provided by Cable News Network, Inc.

President Donald Trump's Wednesday tweet on the Iran nuclear deal contained three inaccurate claims.

"Iran has long been secretly 'enriching,' in total violation of the terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration," Trump tweeted. "Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number of years."

Facts First: All three parts of this tweet are wrong. International nuclear monitors and Trump's own intelligence officials say Iran complied until recently with the agreement's limits on its enrichment activities. Trump exaggerated the amount of money Iran gained access to because of the agreement. And he mischaracterized the deal by saying the whole thing would soon "expire."

Iran warns Europe it 'will take next step' to enrich uranium to weapons-grade level if new deal isn't reached

Iran warns Europe it 'will take next step' to enrich uranium to weapons-grade level if new deal isn't reached Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani warned Europeans nations Wednesday that Tehran will "take the next step" in increasing its uranium enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels this coming Sunday if they do not offer a new deal by then. This week, Iran reportedly breached that low-enriched uranium stockpile limitation. Under terms of the multinational 2015 nuke deal, Iran can keep a stockpile of no more than 660 pounds of low-enriched uranium.

Let's go through the claims one by one.

No evidence Iran was secretly enriching

There is no public evidence to support Trump's claim that Iran "has long been secretly 'enriching.'" The claim has been contradicted by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose monitors were tasked with ensuring that Iran was complying with the terms of the 2015 deal, as well as by independent experts and by Trump's own top intelligence officials.

Iran announced this week that it was breaching a limit on uranium enrichment set by the agreement. But there was no evidence Iran had broken its enrichment promises under the agreement until now, much less that it had "long" done so.

"There is absolutely no truth to that statement. Iran has not, repeat not, been enriching in secret," said Gary Sick, an Iran expert who served on the National Security Council under Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

Trump warns Iran about 'threats' after its uranium enrichment announcement

Trump warns Iran about 'threats' after its uranium enrichment announcement President Donald Trump warned Iran on Wednesday to "be careful with threats" after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country would boost its uranium enrichment beyond the cap set in a 2015 nuclear deal. "Iran has just issued a New Warning. Rouhani says that they will Enrich Uranium to 'any amount we want' if there is no new Nuclear Deal," Trump said on Twitter. "Be careful with the threats, Iran. They can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before!" he said.

Trump withdrew the US from the multi-country agreement, formally the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May 2018. According to public comments from Trump's intelligence officials and the IAEA, Iran continued to comply with the enrichment provisions of the agreement, and the rest of the agreement's provisions, for the next year.

The agreement limited Iran, for 15 years, to enriching uranium to a maximum of a 3.67% concentration of a fissile isotope called U-235. That is a U-235 level suitable for use in a nuclear reactor but far from the approximately 90% suitable for use in a nuclear weapon.

As of this spring, the IAEA certified that Iran was still complying with the 3.67% limit. In a May 31 report, the IAEA again said: "Iran has not enriched uranium above 3.67% U-235."

In January, US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel, both of whom Trump appointed, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Iran kept abiding by the terms of the agreement even after the US withdrew.

Iran reduces commitment to 2015 nuclear deal

Iran reduces commitment to 2015 nuclear deal Iran said on Sunday it would further scale back its commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, raising its uranium enrichment level to what officials said earlier was 5% to produce fuel for power plants. In a news conference, senior Iranian officials also said Tehran would keep reducing its commitments every 60 days unless signatories of the pact moved to protect it from U.S. sanctions, but they left the door open to diplomacy.

Brett McGurk, who served as anti-ISIS special envoy under Trump and Barack Obama and before that as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran, cast doubt on Trump's claim in his own tweets on Wednesday. Noting that Trump's assertion was "totally contrary to the unanimous assessment of our own intelligence community" earlier in the year, he said it was "likely to further undermine American credibility in these partner capitals."

Trump, of course, has access to secret intelligence we do not. But he has presented no proof whatsoever that his top intelligence appointees and international experts have been incorrect.

Trump's $150 billion figure is too high

Trump has repeatedly claimed that the agreement involved a $150 billion payment the US made to Iran. He was a little vaguer than usual this time, but his claim that this was a "150 Billion Dollar deal" was still inaccurate.

The US did not pay Iran even tens of billions of American dollars in the agreement. Rather, the US agreed to unfreeze a significant sum of Iran's assets that had been frozen in international financial institutions, predominantly outside the US, because of sanctions against Iran.

Trump: Iran 'better be careful' after backing away further from nuclear deal

Trump: Iran 'better be careful' after backing away further from nuclear deal President Trump lobbed a strong warning to Iran on Sunday after the rogue nation announced it had ratcheted up its uranium enrichment beyond the limit allowed by the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. “Iran better be careful. … Iran is doing a lot of bad things,” Trump said. “Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.” require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Trump did not invent the $150 billion figure out of thin air: Obama himself mused in a 2015 interview about Iran having "$150 billion parked outside the country." But experts on Iran policy, and Obama's own administration, said that the quantity of assets the agreement actually made available to Iran was much lower.

In 2015, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew put the number at $56 billion. PolitiFact reported that Garbis Iradian, chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, put it at about $60 billion, and that Nader Habibi, professor of economics of the Middle East at Brandeis University, thought it was between $25 billion and $50 billion after discussing the issue with officials at Iran's Central Bank.

Adam Szubin, a senior Treasury Department official, testified to Congress in 2015 that the "usable liquid assets" would total "a little more than $50 billion." The rest of Iran's foreign assets, he said, were either tied up in "illiquid" projects "that cannot be monetized quickly, if at all, or are composed of outstanding loans to Iranian entities that cannot repay them."

The agreement wouldn't have expired soon

Trump could have accurately said that some central provisions of the agreement would have expired in the next 10 to 15 years. But the deal as a whole -- including a blanket prohibition on Iran developing nuclear weapons -- was written to continue in perpetuity.

Trump threatens Iran with increased sanctions after country exceeds uranium enrichment cap

Trump threatens Iran with increased sanctions after country exceeds uranium enrichment cap President Trump on Wednesday warned that his administration would soon "substantially" increase sanctions on Iran after the country exceeded the uranium enrichment level limits laid out in the Obama-era nuclear deal. "Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number of years. Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!" Trump tweeted. Trump claimed that Iran had "long been secretly" enriching uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. But the U.S. and international monitoring agencies had previously found Iran was abiding by the terms of the deal.

"It's not accurate to say the deal expires," said Naysan Rafati, Iran analyst at the International Crisis Group. "Certain clauses of the deal expire and a lot of the key clauses don't expire."

The deal includes important sunset clauses. Its limits on the number of first-generation centrifuges Iran can possess, and on the research and development of more advanced centrifuges, are scheduled to end in 2025. The 3.67% uranium purity limit is to end in 2030.

So is the 300-kilogram limit on Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium, which Iran said last week it has now broken. And so is the ban on building a new heavy-water reactor and on reprocessing spent fuel, which effectively bars Iran from developing a plutonium weapon.

However, some of the limits in the deal extend past 2030 -- and some do not expire at all. Centrifuge production sites are to be under continuous surveillance until 2035. Iran's uranium mines and mills are to be monitored until 2040.

Other provisions were written to be in place in perpetuity. For example, Iran is permanently required to provide advance notice of plans to build a nuclear facility. Iran promised that it will not "ever" seek a nuclear weapon. And IAEA monitoring of Iran's nuclear activities is to continue indefinitely.

Khamenei says Iran to continue to cut nuclear deal commitments.
Khamenei says Iran to continue to cut nuclear deal commitments

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