CLAIM: The Obama-Biden administration “eliminated” the threat of a nuclear Iran and built a coalition to “destroy ISIS.”
VERDICT: MOSTLY FALSE. Obama-Biden emboldened Iran and allowed the ISIS threat to become a major threat.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on the second night of the Democratic National Convention to claim that President Donald Trump had reversed the gains of the Obama-Biden administration, including against ISIS and Iran.
We “eliminated the threat of an Iran with a nuclear weapon,” he said.
That is flatly untrue. Under the Iran deal, the U.S. and other nations dropped sanctions against Iran and provided them access to billions in cash and assets in return for a temporary slowdown in Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.
Iran would be able to develop nuclear weapons after about a decade — as even the deal’s defenders admitted.
The Iran deal — enacted unconstitutionally, without the ratification of the U.S. Senate — also allowed the regime to continue its terrorism, its regional aggression, and its development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Moreover, an Israeli intelligence operation in 2018 proved that Iran had never given up its nuclear weapons ambitions, despite the deal.
Kerry went on to claim that the Obama-Biden administration “built a 68-nation coalition to destroy ISIS.” That is true.
What is also true is that Obama allowed ISIS — which he insisted on calling “ISIL” — to gain a foothold in the Middle East in the first place after he pulled out of Iraq precipitously. Obama dismissed ISIS as the “JV team,” but they soon claimed a large swathe of territory, and terrorized the world. Obama was reluctant to allow U.S. forces to take the fight to ISIS, or even to condemn their horrific acts.
Not only that, Obama hamstrung the military with “rules of engagement” that made it impossible to take out ISIS strongholds. Trump ended that practice and decimated ISIS in his first two years.