President Donald Trump announced Tuesday afternoon that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, citing the agreements faults and saying it is “defective at its core”.
“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” Mr. Trump said at the White House in announcing his decision. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”
Mr. Trump’s announcement, while long anticipated and widely telegraphed, plunges America’s relations with European allies into deep uncertainty. They have committed to staying in the deal, raising the prospect of a diplomatic and economic clash as the United States reimposes stringent sanctions on Iran.
Along with Iran, Trump said any nations that facilitate the country’s nuclear ambitions will fall under strict U.S. sanctions as well.
Trump also indicated that his administration is prepared to renegotiate a nuclear agreement should Iran decide it is ready and willing to do so, though the president said he suspects Iranian leaders will not accept such an offer at this time.
The president said the U.S. and its allies would be unable to thwart Iran’s nuclear program “under the decaying and rotten structure of the current deal”, adding that the agreement is “defective at its core”.
According to The Times, White House officials began informing America’s European allies on Monday that Trump would be exiting the deal and imposing oil sanctions as well as secondary sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran.
Under the financial sanctions, European companies will have between 90 days and 180 days to wind down their operations in Iran, or they will run afoul of the American banking system. The oil sanctions will require European and Asian countries to reduce their imports from Iran.
For all the frenzied maneuvering, Mr. Trump seems to have made up his mind several weeks ago. When Mr. Macron visited him two weeks ago, officials said, Mr. Trump told the president that he planned to pull out of the deal on May 12, adding, “I haven’t told Melania yet.”