Cut the Crap. America Did NOT Give Iran $150 Billion


You’ve probably heard about the “worst deal ever made”, the Iran Deal, of which Donald Trump, and most Republicans are not fans of. There can be cases made for and against the deal, but one thing that constantly gets in the way is complete falsehoods. How can we have an intelligent conversation about something as important as U.S. foreign policy in the middle east if we don’t all agree on the facts?

Did America Actually GIVE Iran Billions of Dollars?

One of the most common falsehoods is that the agreement Barack Obama made with Iran “gave them” $150 billion. This is repeated endlessly by opponents of the deal, but it isn’t true, and asserting it shows either ignorance of the deal itself or a fundamental misunderstanding of property ownership.

The controversial deal lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for a reduction in centrifuges, a reduction in overall uranium supply, a reduction in levels of enrichment of uranium, and regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The deal did not “give” any money to Iran. What it did was lift sanctions, which had frozen assets worth up to $150 billion. This is a far cry from any American tax dollars actually funding Iran’s nuclear program, the way it has been said.

Also, keep in mind that the $150 billion is an exaggerated amount. The actual amount is likely closer to $100 billion BUT politicians LOVE to exaggerate. They do this to make things appear either better or worse than they actually are.

It is played out endlessly by the media as well. For instance, during the Obama years, radio and TV host Sean Hannity would regularly claim we had the worst workforce participation rate in 30 years. Now that Trump is in office, he conveniently changes his rhetoric and boasts that we have the highest workforce participation rate in 7 years. Nothing has changed. Both statements are true. Funny how they spin things, right?

To make the deal sound as bad as possible, Trump deliberately lies about what is in it.

“We give them $150 billion, we get nothing.” Patently FALSE! It isn’t $150 billion, and we didn’t give it to them. Is Trump a liar or just ignorant of one of his favorite hot button issues?

The “$150 billion” in question was already Iran’s.

This is vitally important. We MUST understand this.

The claim that we “gave” it to them presupposes that all property is ultimately the property of the United States government. It is in this same twisted way of thinking that politicians ask themselves “how are we going to pay for tax cuts?”. What? We don’t “pay for” tax cuts! It’s backwards thinking! In the same manner, tax deductions are often mischaracterized as “subsidies”.

This is the language of statists and authoritarians who do not believe in private property. In their minds, all property belongs to the collective, or rather, the state. Therefore, taxation isn’t theft, because what you earn doesn’t actually belong to you. Logical deduction guides us to a place where even our labor, which we exchange for money, is also not our property. When one’s labor is not his own property, it is commonly called slavery.

Allowing someone to keep the money they earned is not “subsidizing” them. Also, allowing Iran to keep its own money, is not “giving” them money. This kind of logic is not only flawed but flies in the face of the principles America was founded on.

We Got Something For the “$150 billion” We “Allowed” Iran to Keep

“We get nothing!” Patently FALSE! Iran was closer to a nuclear weapon prior to the deal. Iran has reduced its supply of uranium by 97%, from 10,000kg to 300kg – which isn’t enough for even a single nuclear weapon. Iran can no longer enrich uranium to the 90% level (needed for weapons), and has reduced its number of centrifuges by two thirds. The IAEA also now conducts regular investigations with all of the reports available online (were Trump or his surrogates interested in searching for them on Google).

Here’s the latest one, in case you’d like to read it –

The next time you hear this kind of nonsense from someone on TV or the radio, ask yourself – is this person really just ignorant about the deal itself, or do they just not understand property rights? Either way, take anything they say with a huge grain of salt.

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About the Author

Tim Preuss

Tim Preuss is a political commentator and the host of the Tim Preuss Podcast, which is available Monday-Friday on iTunes, Talk America Radio, and the Liberty Radio Network. You can find more of his work at