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.
Kerry also cited the Obama-Biden administration’s policies on climate change and Ebola as successes. He did not mention the Libya war; the decision to take out Osama bin Laden (which then-Vice President Biden opposed); or the Russian invasion of Crimea, which happened after years of appeasement as Kerry complained about “19th century rules.”
Kerry claimed that the Obama-Biden administration “led by example.” At the time, they were best known for their doctrine of “leading from behind.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.