Today, President Trump will announce whether the United States will remain in the Iran Deal, a landmark agreement signed in 2015 by then-President Obama, which “lifts international sanctions on Iran in return for a long-term suspension of its nuclear development program.” Reports indicate that Trump is likely to withdraw from the deal. Here’s why that would be a massive mistake:
- President Trump’s claims notwithstanding, the nuclear agreement with Iran has prevented Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and remains strongly in the U.S. national interest. Even Defense Secretary Mattis agrees that the deal is in the U.S. national security interest.
- Under the terms of the agreement, Iran will remain a year away from enriching enough uranium to build a nuclear weapon for at least a decade – giving the United States and its allies sufficient time to detect and respond to any Iranian cheating.
- Abandoning the deal will put Iran back on the path to a nuclear weapon and it is clear that the Administration has no credible Plan B.
- Two former Pentagon officials write in The Atlantic that such a move could “shak[e] the confidence of the international community and giv[e] Iran the high ground in arguing that the United States is not acting in good faith.” Experts at the Center for American Progress add that the decision “would invite global instability in a Middle East region already ravaged by civil war and terrorism and create a second nuclear crisis.”
The bottom line? Trump has no clear strategy around Iran, and his new war cabinet won’t help find diplomatic solutions for solving any potential new crises. Leaving the Iran Deal is not only bad for the United States, but it’s bad for the world—and it’s clear that Trump hasn’t thought through (or doesn’t care) about the global consequences of this move.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#HandsOffSNAP. Today, activists gathered on Capitol Hill to speak out against the draconian cuts to nutrition assistance in the House Republican Farm Bill, which is set to hit the House floor for a vote this month. This comes just months after the congressional majority passed massive tax cuts for the rich and wealthy corporations—and the tax cuts for the richest 1 percent cost more than all of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Yet, $20 billion of SNAP is at stake in this bill. Call your member of Congress now at 1-888-668-8919 and tell them #HandsOffSNAP!
Ripping Families Apart. Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies 2018 Spring Conference—and it was just as bad as you’d imagine. Perhaps his most repulsive comment came halfway through his remarks when he said, “We are not going to let this country be invaded. We will not be stampeded. We will not capitulate to lawlessness.” It’s important to remember that the “invaders” he’s talking about are mostly women, children, asylum-seeking families, who are trying to escape from violence in their home countries. These remarks came as Sessions moved to change policy so that every undocumented immigrant in the United States would be prosecuted as a criminal—including separating parents (for prosecution) from their children—despite evidence suggesting it does little for deterrence, and even though the justification for doing so relies on “an extremely dubious statistic” [i.e. they made it up.] And don’t miss CAP’s new column about 287(g) agreements and how such agreements actually endanger local communities.
Schneiderman. Last night, the New Yorker published a disturbing piece on Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York and a rising star in the Democratic party. According to the article, four women were accusing him of “nonconsensual physical violence.” Just three hours after the piece went live, Schneiderman resigned. This latest #MeToo moment makes it clear that no political party, no income level, no job type is free from men abusing their power and engaging in sexual misconduct with women around them. While much of the focus has centered around Hollywood and Capitol Hill, sexual harassment and abuse can be found in every sector. The EEOC reports that harassment is often under-reported and, while research varies widely, a recent poll found that one in every three women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. To learn more about your rights at work and what to do if you are experiencing harassment, check out this quick explainer.
UNDER THE RADAR
Walking Back Their Promises. Last month, Bank of America committed to “backing away from companies that make military-style assault rifles for civilian use.” The bank’s Vice Chairman Anne Finucane even said, “it’s not our intent to underwrite or finance military-style firearms.” But now they are already walking back their promises. Bank of America is “contributing $43.2 million to a $193 million lending package funded by seven banks” that will finance Remington Outdoor Company, which makes dangerous, assault rifles, such as the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre. Several families from Sandy Hook are suing Remington, along with other gun companies, and Bank of America’s decision to support Remington is a slap in the face to those families and every person who has lost a loved one from gun violence.