Jason Langsner

9 words Obama said at the DNC

The words were 'through diplomacy, we shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program' and they're not true

The Republican and Democratic National Committees’ conventions have concluded.  Much has been said and written about them, but I wanted to dust off my TOI blog and comment about nine words that were presented that perhaps could us some more discussion.

Rather than broadly commenting on the conventions and the nominees, I only wanted to focus on nine words over eight days from one speaker.

No question, President Barack Obama is an incredible orator and history will show him as one of the most impactful leaders of our nation – some viewing his contributions to America’s future positively while others will view them negatively.  This subjectivity is only compounded when looking at the divisiveness from President Obama’s record on Middle East and Israeli policy issues and specifically related to the highly controversial and partisan Iran Deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

President Obama spoke for 45 minutes and his remarks were positively received by those in Philadelphia and the majority of Americans watching across the U.S.  But early on, the 44th President of the United States, who was at the convention to provide an endorsement for Hillary Clinton said, “through diplomacy, we shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program” and that remark alone needs to be analyzed outside of the broader keynote address and convention.

Although, perhaps a good talking point for the DNC audience, these nine words aren’t factually accurate.

The statement explicitly says that the P5+1, as “we,” were able to “shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”  But the JCPOA did not accomplish this goal. It, at best, didn’t end Iran’s nuclear weapons program; and instead simply delayed Iran’s path to getting the bomb.

At best, Iran is still a nuclear threshold state that is still belligerently threatening to wipe Israel off of the map while testing advanced rockets while ignoring UN sanctions.  Iran is still a nuclear threshold state.  And it is one that has been rewarded with billions of dollars by an objectively flawed deal whose original intent was to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program, but in reality it simply delayed it and paved a path for Iran to legally acquire or develop nuclear weapons in 10 years.

Perhaps a better statement would have been, we pushed through an executive order rather than a negotiated piece of bipartisan legislation and a policy solution that was opposed by the majority of Americans and the majority of the U.S. Congress based on a fictional narrative that Ben Rhodes admitted that we created and that empowered Iranian hardliners while making Israel into a partisan issue for some Americans, but that did not solve the problem yet it gave away all of our leverage.

But I guess that is more than nine words.

About the Author
Jason Langsner is an active member of the American young Jewish professional community. He is a published author about Israel and American-Israeli affairs and regularly blogs and speaks at conferences about the intersection of communication, culture, politics, and technology. He formerly ran the digital strategy for B'nai B'rith International, the Global Voice of the Jewish Community, and currently serves as a lay leader with various pro-Israel organizations. Mr. Langsner received a Masters at Georgetown University and studied International Business Management at the University of Oxford.
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