Ilhan Omar Criticized After Blaming President Trump for Iran’s Uranium Threat

June 18, 2019 Updated: June 18, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has again come under fire this time for placing blame on President Donald Trump after Iran threatened to breach a limit on uranium stockpiles that would violate a multinational nuclear deal.

The United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, while reimposing stringent economic sanctions that were previously lifted after the agreement was signed. The deal, negotiated by the Obama administration in 2015, was supposed to end Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions that would provide Iran with an estimated $50 billion to $150 billion in relief.

But at the time, Trump and other critics said the measures in the deal were weak as it allowed Iran to continue to develop most of its nuclear program, with the exception of the weaponized core. The deal also did not cover Iran’s development of ballistic missiles.

Moreover, despite Iran’s claim that its nuclear program was not for weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented Iranian documents that prove Iran had been developing nuclear weapons before the 2015 deal April last year. At the time U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that “the documents obtained by Israel from inside of Iran show beyond any doubt that the Iranian regime was not telling the truth.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting with tribal leaders
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting with tribal leaders in Kerbala, Iraq, on March 12, 2019. (Abdullah Dhiaa Al-Deen/Reuters/File Photo)

On June 17, Iran announced that it would breach an internationally agreed limit on its stock of low-enriched uranium in the following days. The Islamic regime added that it would only remain in the nuclear deal if its European signatories would step in to help the regime to circumvent the tight economic sanctions.

Shortly after the announcement, Omar took the opportunity to blame the recent hostile behavior from the Islamic regime on President Trump.

“None of this would be happening if Trump didn’t back out of the Iran nuclear deal. America’s response should be to return to the table and reinstate the Iran nuclear deal. Increasing tensions and threats of war serve nobody’s interests,” Omar wrote in a Tweet.

Her comments also follow the recent tension between the two countries after the Trump administration presented video evidence that appears to implicate Tehran in the June 13 attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a vital oil shipping route. Iran has denied having any role.

tanker oil -ap oman
An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman on June 13, 2019.(AP Photo/ISNA)

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan also announced on June 17 that the United States will be sending about 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to the Middle East.

Many prominent commentators and journalists expressed disbelief over Omar’s comments while questioning her loyalty to the United States.

“The world’s most prolific state sponsor of terrorism for *decades* — according to State Dept assesssments from administrations of both parties — wouldn’t be sponsoring terrorism if not for Trump exiting a deeply flawed deal that was opposed by ~60% of Congress? Try again,” political editor Guy Benson wrote.

“And Iran lied from the start about the extent and aspects of their nuclear program, a violation of the prerequisite to even get to the flawed deal,” he added.

“Ummm none of this would be happening if Iran was not building nuclear weapons, supplying arms to Hezbollah and Hamas, killing people in Yemen, bombing Jewish community centers, inciting hate and violence…should I continue ?” Canadian human rights activist Avi Benlolo said.

“Oh look is appeasing the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, calling for appeasement and blaming America…again,” Townhall editor Katie Pavlich wrote.

“Ilhan Omar is once again siding with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and is blaming America for their actions Omar has a long documented history of repeatedly sympathizing with and advocating for terrorists,” the Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra wrote.

White House National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis described Iran’s announcement as “nuclear blackmail.”

The United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, Germany, and the European Union are still part of the accord, which capped Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium at 660 pounds (300 kilograms) of uranium hexafluoride enriched to 3.67 percent.

However, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEO) says that it now intends to store more than the limit.

“We have quadrupled the rate of enrichment (of uranium) and even increased it more recently, so that in 10 days it will bypass the 300 kg limit,” AEO Spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi told the country’s state television network. “Iran’s reserves are every day increasing at a more rapid rate … the move will be reversed once other parties fulfil their commitments.”

Petr Svab, Richard Szabo, and Reuters contributed to this report.

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan
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