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Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
Those on the right see Obama’s legacy in tatters.
Conservatives are celebrating President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, praising him for upholding his campaign promise and for damaging former President Barack Obama’s legacy.
The announcement to end the deal, formally the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), came on Tuesday when the president announced that sanctions would be re-imposed in 90 days and criticized the deal as “defective at its core.”
The agreement, which had been formed under Obama in partnership with several other countries, had sought to ease sanctions against Iran in return for the country slowing its nuclear weapons program. Trump, however, had always been a fierce critic of the 2015 deal.
“At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction, that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful, nuclear energy program,” Trump said at the White House on Tuesday.
“At the point when the US had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime—and it’s a regime of great terror—many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash—a great embarrassment to me as a citizen,” he continued.
Hours later, that afternoon, Obama released his own statement to express his dismay.
“Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes—with Iran—the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans,” he said. “That is why today’s announcement is so misguided.”
“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.”
As the news broke major European world leaders also voiced their disappointment with the announcement, but for the American establishment and anti-establishment right the move was a win.
“Promise kept,” right-wing publication Breitbart News reported.
Students for Trump hailed the diminishment of Obama’s legacy.
POTUS withdrew from the Iran Deal today. Another piece of Obama’s legacy is gone!
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) May 8, 2018
Likewise, other right-wing media personalities, many of who were drawn to Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and thus the promises he made to dismantle the Iran deal, were also enthused.
Iran Nuke Deal cancelled
Cuban diplomats expelled
Obamacare mandate repealed
Trump is erasing Obama's legacy
— Jack Posobiec❌ (@JackPosobiec) May 8, 2018
Is there any evidence that Obama was ever President at this point?
— Jack Posobiec❌ (@JackPosobiec) May 8, 2018
Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro, a conservative formerly of Breitbart News who does not support Trump, wrote that the deal was a “disaster” and that the president was “right to kill it.”
In an article, Shapiro pointed to five major points of criticism he had for the deal. One of those points, which again surfaced elsewhere as a big point of issue with the deal on the part of conservatives, was that Obama had sought to avoid letting Congress vote on it.
“That was never constitutional,” Shapiro said. “Trump is right to abrogate the deal on those grounds alone.”
The Republican Party also slammed the manner in which Obama had passed the deal by executive power “rather than going to Congress” where it faced bipartisan opposition. In a blog post published shortly after the announcement, the party quoted opposition for the deal by leading congressional Democrats back in 2015.
Other leading Republicans followed suit:
The Iran Deal was built on the lies of a leading state sponsor of terrorism, preserving its nuclear capability and allowing the regime to build a nuclear weapon in several years. @realDonaldTrump's decision fulfills a promise made to Americans and corrects an Obama-era mistake.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) May 8, 2018
From the beginning, the Obama-era Iran Deal was deeply flawed.
My full statement ↓ pic.twitter.com/W8X9kELF7O
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 8, 2018
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 7, 2018
For others on the fringes, though, it was quite clearly a victory over the elusive deep state and its anti-American schemes.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.