No, America did not break its word when Trump pulled out of the Iran deal

In the hours after President Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the so-called Iran deal, I’ve seen an avalanche of commentary condemning Trump for “breaking America’s word.” Here’s a (small) sampling of the critiques:

Trump’s announcement “breaks America’s word.”

And no public controversy would be complete without a liberal comedian “shredding” Trump. So of course, Stephen Colbert weighed in.

Honestly, of all the critiques of Trump’s decision, this is the least credible. President Obama had a chance to make a true “American” promise by submitting the Iran deal as a treaty. But he knew that America wouldn’t make that deal. He knew that most of the Senate (including a number of Democrats) were opposed to the deal. Thus, as Andrew McCarthy notes, the Iran deal “did not represent America’s word, it represented Obama’s word.” Under the American system, one president’s pledge does not bind the next president. There is a constitutional process for securing enduring international obligations.