The Obama administration lied to the American people.
The latest proof of their dishonesty: according to the Associated Press, the Obama administration attempted to end-around its own sanctions in order to give cash to the worst terror sponsor on the planet. Here’s the report:
The report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that under President Barack Obama, the Treasury Department issued a license in February 2016, never previously disclosed, that would have allowed Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held at a bank in Oman from Omani rials into euros by exchanging them first into U.S. dollars. If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system.
Only the fact that U.S. banks didn’t want to violate American law prevented Iran from getting its hands on $5.7 billion more in U.S. dollars. As Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) explained, “The Obama administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran.” The Obama administration repeatedly lied — over and over again — about their supposed unwillingness to allow Iran “access to the US financial system.” Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew even testified to that effect.
So, what did Team Obama have to say about all of this? Unnamed Obama officials told the AP that they were acting “in line with the spirit of the deal,” and that the lies were justified because they were attempting to debunk arguments that Team Obama wanted to give even more concessions to the Iranians. Which is somewhat like arguing that Bill Clinton didn’t lie about Monica Lewinsky, he just wanted to debunk rumors that he had sex with an intern.
The Obama administration activity on behalf of Iran went even further, the AP reports. In March 2016, Obama officials including execrable Secretary of State John Kerry “fanned out across Europe, Asia and the Middle East trying to convince banks and businesses they could do business with Iran without violating sanctions and facing steep fines.” In other words, the Obama administration became the foreign ministry for the mullahs in Iran. The AP continues:
That same week, the AP reported that the Treasury had prepared a draft of a license that would have given Iran much broader permission to convert its assets from foreign currencies into easier-to-spend currencies like euros, yen or rupees, by first exchanging them for dollars at offshore financial institutions.
The draft involved a general license, a blanket go-ahead that allows all transactions of a certain type, rather than a specific license like the one given to Oman’s Bank Muscat, which only covers specific transactions and institutions. The proposal would have allowed dollars to be used in currency exchanges provided that no Iranian banks, no Iranian rials and no sanctioned Iranian individuals or businesses were involved, and that the transaction did not begin or end in U.S. dollars.
Obama administration officials at the time assured concerned lawmakers that a general license wouldn’t be coming. But the report from the Republican members of the Senate panel showed that a draft of the license was indeed prepared, though it was never published.
And when questioned by lawmakers about the possibility of granting Iran any kind of access to the U.S. financial system, Obama-era officials never volunteered that the specific license for Bank Muscat in Oman had been issued two months earlier.
This is the second story this week demonstrating that Team Obama lied to Americans about the Iran deal, which Obama treasured so dearly.
On Tuesday, the Iranian government announced that they had completed a new centrifuge assembly at their Natanz facility — just a month after President Trump killed the Iran nuclear deal. This is deeply suspicious, given their supposed acquiescence to disarmament under that deal. Here's how Obama fanboys at The New York Times reported that odd development:
While Iran said it would keep enrichment within limits set by the 2015 nuclear accord, the center’s opening seemed to signal that it could swing to industrial-level enrichment if that agreement, which the United States withdrew from last month, should further unravel. ... Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran stopped enriching uranium to the 20 percent level that would allow for rapid development of a nuclear weapon and agreed to a limit of under 5 percent. It will adhere to that limit, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a speech on Monday.
Yes, surely the mullahs who lied about their nuclear program for well over a decade would never have lied to us, facilitated by the obsequious Obama administration.
And, of course, the Obama administration lied constantly during the Iran negotiations about the supposedly "moderate" Iranian regime that had opened the door to those negotiations, with serial confabulator Ben Rhodes taking the lead. Rhodes later bragged about his "echo chamber" strategy to anyone who would listen.
We keep hearing that the Trump administration is historically dishonest. But the same press saying so largely overlooked and in many cases actively covered for Team Obama’s dishonesty on the Iran deal, beyond even covering for Team Obama’s rampant dishonesty on issues ranging from Libya to Obamacare. Obama goes around bragging that his administration was scandal-free. That’s factually untrue. But his administration was largely criticism-free thanks to a media replete with his supporters.