President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, saying he will reinstate economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
The Iranian Nuclear Deal
The Iran nuclear deal framework – officially the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” – was a historic agreement reached by Iran and several world powers, US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union.
In part, the deal was made to reduce Iran’s ability to produce two components used in making nuclear weapons: plutonium and uranium. In exchange, international sanctions were lifted, allowing it to sell its oil and gas worldwide. However, secondary US sanctions remain.
United Nations inspectors have repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the deal.
A point of contention for many opponents is the deal’s so-called “sunset clause” which would ease some of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program over time.
Why Trump Withdrew from the Deal
- He doubted the deal’s ability to prevent, detect and punish Iranian Nuclear Test.
- Does not address ballistic missile development.
- Does not address Iran’s destabilizing & terrorism activities.
- By uplifting sanctions without addressing the above points, it makes Iran into a dangerous world power.
“The deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating and don’t even have the unqualified right to inspect many locations, including military facilities,” he said.
“Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads,” he continued.
“Finally, the deal does nothing to constrain Iran’s destabilizing activities, including its support for terrorism. Since the agreement, Iran’s bloody ambitions have grown only more brazen,” the president said, referring to Iran’s siding with Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad in that country’s civil war.
“The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we’ll know exactly what will happen. Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” he declared.
“America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail.”
“We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. And we will not allow a regime that chants ‘Death to America!’ to gain access to the most deadly weapons on earth,” he said.
“If you take a look at Iran from four, five years ago, they were dying,” Trump said during an event in September 2016. “They had sanctions, they were being choked to death and they were dying. They weren’t even going to be much of a threat.”
Trump’s decision — which also raises the likelihood of heightened tensions with Russia and China — fulfils one of his major campaign promises.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pushed back at the U.S. immediately after President Trump announced he was pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal – threatening it would boost its uranium enrichment.
‘I have ordered Iran’s atomic organization that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before,’ Rouhani said.
Rouhani – whose own political prospects could dim if the agreement collapses amid Iran’s economic problems and the rising costs of basic staples – then took a swipe at the world’s greatest military power. ‘Iran will be conferring with the world’s two superpowers, Russia and China,’ he sniped, insisting that Trump’s ‘psychological war and economic pressures will not work.’
Rouhani, who along with President Barack Obama helped set the conditions for the deal to go forward, also said Iran would remain in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), leaving uncertainty about what level of enrichment he intended.
Reaction from other World Leaders
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that he was “deeply concerned”, urging the remaining parties of the deal to abide by their commitments.
“France, Germany, and the UK regret the US decision to leave” the Iran nuclear deal, as “the nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.
The top European Union diplomat, Federica Mogherini, called on the international community to preserve the Iran nuclear deal. “The EU will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal,” Mogherini said from Brussels. “We fully trust the work, competence and autonomy of the International Atomic Energy Agency that has published 10 reports certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded Trump’s decision. “Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Iran. Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start because we said that rather than blocking Iran’s path to a bomb, the deal actually paves Iran’s path to an actual arsenal of nuclear bombs and this within a few years time. The removal of sanctions under the deal has already produced disastrous results. The deal didn’t push war further away, it actually brought it closer.”
Saudi Arabia said that it supports Trump’s decision. “The kingdom supports and welcomes the steps announced by the US president toward withdrawing from the nuclear deal … and reinstating economic sanctions against Iran,” the Saudi foreign ministry said.