Republicans have revived an old and overused piece of right-wing trash in an effort to try to invalidate the unmitigated success of President Obama’s recent diplomatic victories with Iran.
The myth that they have dug back out of their closet is that Ronald Reagan freed American diplomats and citizens held hostage in Iran, simply by becoming president. Republicans like to infer that Reagan was some kind of ultra-tough Republican cowboy, and this caused Iran to be petrified with fear causing them to surrender the hostages the moment Reagan was sworn into office. As Rachel so eloquently explains, nothing could be further from the truth.
Watch Rachel completely destroy the Republican effort to try to deny Obama the legacy he earned below:
If you want to look at who operated from a position of power in the negotiations, you need to look no further than the soft-spoken Jimmy Carter. He froze $11 billion in Iranian assets after they seized the hostages. Iran was engaged in a war with Iraq at the time. Suddenly the Iranian’s had second thoughts. $11 billion in 1980 dollars was huge and they needed this for the war effort. The unfreezing of assets, plus an American pledge to not meddle in internal Iranian affairs and an agreement to work together to resolve post-revolution financial claims, were the only things we had to give them. To sum it up, Jimmy got virtually everything and Iran got nothing except being left alone.
The ONLY aspect that Ronald Reagan played in the freedom of the Iranian hostages was coincidental at best. If Iran had not released them when they did, they risked Reagan nullifying the agreement, and in turn, they would lose everything that was already on the bargaining table. You could replace Reagan with literally any other person that existed on Earth at the time, and you would have gotten the same result. He did NOTHING except occupy space. It stands in a stark contrast to Reagan’s true legacy on Iran. Remember the one where he illegally sold weapons to Iran in order to try to get them to facilitate the freeing of American hostages from Lebanon and using the proceeds of the sale to fund an illegal war in Central America? But, that’s none of our business according to Republicans.
featured image via MSNBC screen capture