President Trump announced plans to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, saying the pact has failed to halt the country’s nuclear ambitions.
Trump said: “I am announcing today the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”
He said, “The Iran deal is defective at its core.”
A source said that Trump’s announcement will start a 90-day countdown to the restoration of sanctions.
“At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction, that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful, nuclear energy program,” Trump said Tuesday. “Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie.”
Once sanctions are re-imposed, the U.S. effectively would be out of the deal.
“In theory, the so-called Iran deal was supposed to protect the United States and our allies from the lunacy of an Iranian nuclear bomb, a weapon that will only endanger the survival of the Iranian regime,” Trump said. “In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and over time reach the brink of a nuclear breakout.”
During his speech, Trump called Iran “the leading state sponsor of terror.”
“It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda,” he said.
“America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail,” the president declared. “The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them.”
“As we exit the Iran deal, we will be working with our allies to find a real, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear threat,” he added, saying efforts will be made to eliminate the threat of Iran’s ballistic missile program, its support of worldwide terrorism and its “menacing activities” in the Middle East.
If the Iranian regime continued harboring nuclear aspirations, Trump vowed, it will have “bigger problems than it has ever had before.”
President Trump started the day by warning former Secretary of State John Kerry not to meddle in the negotiations.
“John Kerry can’t get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it! Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!” Trump tweeted early Tuesday.
The 2015 pact lifted most U.S. and international sanctions against the country, in exchange for Iran agreeing to restrictions on its nuclear program making it impossible to produce a bomb, along with rigorous inspections – terms generally set for 10-15 years.
But Israel, Gulf Arab states and many congressional Republicans said the deal was a giveaway to Tehran that ultimately paves the path to a nuclear-armed Iran several years in the future.