November 12, 2017

President Trump is Finally Restoring American Credibility on Iran

Newly released documents from the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden contain clear-cut evidence that Iran provided funds, staffers, and coordination to al Qaeda. This just underscores the depths of depravity Iran will sink to in its efforts to hurt the United States and its allies.

Add this to the many other reasons President Trump was right to decertifythe disastrous Iran deal and take a tougher stand against the Iranian regime. Trump’s decision to decertify the deal has been one of the most significant and refreshing actions he’s taken since he was elected exactly a year ago. I can’t think of a better gift to the American people than restoring our country’s credibility on Iran.

Indeed, the Trump administration has let it be known the United States will not sit back and watch as the nightmare of a nuclear Iran becomes a reality. The president has also made it clear that he is ready to take aggressive action to stop Iran from spreading radical Islamic terrorism.

These moves are especially refreshing after the Obama administration embraced a “leading from behind” approach to foreign policy throughout its disastrous eight-year tenure.

This approach had profound consequences for the United States and its allies as Iran spread instability and terror throughout the Middle East. Billions of dollars have flowed from Iran to Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, which have grown vastly in size and influence. Worse, millionsremain displaced and hundreds of thousands have been killed from the bloody Syrian civil war, which the Iranian regime is directly bankrolling.

The Iran nuclear-arms deal in 2015 was the pinnacle of Obama’s failed approach. Obama penned the deal despite strong opposition from both political parties. Like their elected representatives, American voters rightfully recognize this deal is one-sided and bad for the country.

According to a poll commissioned by the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and the Harris Poll, 70 percent of likely voters say the Iran deal should be renegotiated, including 57 percent of Democrats.

Beyond merely setting loose terms for the agreement, the Obama administration also lifted sanctions on Iran, allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to flow back to the regime. Much of this money has gone to the regime’s terror army, where it is used to fund proxy terrorist groups.

Thankfully, the Trump administration has taken several steps to restore American credibility on Iran and promote stability in the Middle East. Nowhere is this better seen than with Trump’s decertification of the Iran deal. Decertification of this disastrous deal has paved the way for a more comprehensive America-first policy toward Iran.

The president rightfully acknowledges that the Iranian nuclear agreement fails to address the regime’s ballistic-missile program or ensure Iran will not simply wait out the deal and pursue a nuclear weapon in a decade’s time.

The U.S. Department of Treasury also recently announced a fresh round of sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the largest supporters of state-sponsored terrorism in the world.

While simultaneously pressuring Iran, the president has begun restoring our relationships with key allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who lead the fight against Iran on the ground. These allies who were rightfully skeptical of Obama’s commitment to their defense have openly praised Trump for his recent actions.

"The president was very courageous in saying, I'm not going to kick this can down the road, I'm not going to say, ‘well it's going to be on somebody else's watch. I'm going to stop this from happening.’ It's a very brave decision. It's the right decision for the world," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted during a recent speech.

Trump has also proclaimed that Iran is no friend to the United States or its allies. This is in stark contrast to President Obama and Secretary John Kerry, who insisted that Iran may one day liberalize. This as an utter fantasy for the same regime that proudly chants “down with America” and “death to Israel” while sitting atop the number-one state sponsor of terror list.

With the rise of Iran’s radical Islamic proxy groups and a failing nuclear deal, now more than ever does America need to show strength and put pressure on Iran. Trump has taken bold action against the Iranian regime while reassuring our allies that America is coming off the sidelines.

President Trump is committed to restoring America’s credibility on Iran. He has followed words with action, unlike the previous administration — and the results are already showing. Americans must continue to support the president and the administration as they hold Iran accountable and restore credibility with allies in the region.

-- Alex Titus, Fellow at America First Policies

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