NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: Getting out of Iran deal was right move

When President Trump announced Tuesday the U.S. will withdraw from the nuclear accord with Iran, fulfilling a campaign promise he made in 2016, his move was endorsed by Indiana Republicans Sen. Todd Young and 3rd District Congressman Jim Banks, among others.

The U.S. joined the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China in signing the deal on July 14, 2015, to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran’s curtailing of its nuclear program.

Trump said the agreement was a “horrible one-sided deal that should never ever have been made.”

Shortly after it was signed in 2015, The News-Sentinel published a column by then-Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, who listed several problems in the 159-page Iran deal, not the least of which was the ludicrous side deal that would allow Iran to use its own inspectors to investigate any site it might be accused of using to develop nuclear arms and report the findings to the United Nations.

“More concerning,” Coats wrote, “is what the negotiators conceded in order to reach an agreement with a regime that calls America its enemy, brazenly violates U.N. resolutions, sponsors terrorism, threaten’s Israel’s existence and is responsible for more than 1,000 American military deaths since Sept. 11, 2001.”

“If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen,” Trump said Tuesday. “In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

In spite of concern from partner nations in the deal and criticism from Democrats, including former President Obama and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, one of many who support Trump’s decision includes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it a “historic move.”

Trump said documents recently released by Netanyahu showed Iran had attempted to develop a nuclear bomb in the previous decade and had clearly lied in the past and could not be trusted.

We still adhere to one of Coats’ conclusions in 2015 that one result of the deal would be the funding of terrorism: “By some estimates,” he wrote, “the agreement would immediately give Iran upwards of $100 billion of withheld oil sales, money that could be used to fund Iran’s continued terrorism in other Middle Eastern countries … a likelihood even President Obama acknowledged.”

Coats’ successor, Sen. Young, stated following Trump’s announcement, “Iran says it has no desire to acquire nuclear weapons, yet retained plans to do just that… As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I look forward to working with the administration to develop a more effective strategy to address Iran’s support for terrorism, human rights abuses, and nuclear program–including its ballistic missile program.”