Obama issues rare statement blasting Trump on Iran deal decision

  • Former President Barack Obama issued a strong rebuke of the Trump administration’s decision to exit the Iran deal on Tuesday.
  • Obama has all but refrained from making public statements about President Donald Trump since leaving office.
  • Obama called Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal as “misguided” and “a serious mistake.”

Former President Barack Obama, who has all but refrained from making public statements about President Donald Trump since leaving office, issued a strong rebuke of the Trump administration’s decision to exit the Iran deal on Tuesday.

In a statement, Obama called Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, “misguided.”

“Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated,” Obama said. “In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.”

Obama, whose administration led the multilateral negotiations of the deal, said that putting the Iran deal at risk without any reported Iranian violation ia “a serious mistake.”

“Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East,” Obama said.

He added: “It could embolden an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to prevent it.”

Trump has long criticised the Iran deal, saying that it supplied the “murderous” Iranian regime with “billions” of dollars and that it would catalyze a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East.

The Iran deal, one of the most notable foreign policy initiatives by the Obama administration, was aimed to restrict Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for the easing of harsh economic sanctions.

“Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe,” Obama said.

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