Demonstrating just how easily the Trump administration’s mixture of utter incompetence and malicious determination to undermine diplomacy can bring the U.S. to the brink of yet another war in a matter of minutes, the White House issued a statement Monday night falsely declaring that Iran “has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program”—only to quickly change the statement from “has” to “had” in the face of journalistic reporting and strong backlash.

While the White House was quick to explain away the potentially catastrophic mistake as a mere typo, Brian Beutler of Crooked Media argued this explanation “doesn’t withstand scrutiny,” given that the “original statement uses the word ‘has’ twice, strongly suggesting an intent to mislead the global public into believing Iran had covertly reactivated its nuclear weapons program in direct defiance of the agreement.”

After admitting its “clerical error” to reporters, the White House quietly deleted its previous tweet publicizing the statement—which came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “bizarre” speech claiming Iran is violating the terms of the nuclear deal—without “offering any apology to those who thought the U.S. was going to war with Iran.”

“If Iran no longer has a robust clandestine program, the White House just admitted that the Iran deal is working.”
—Trita Parsi, National Iranian American Council

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