Haley: Leaving Iran nuclear deal is 'tempting'

Haley: Leaving Iran nuclear deal is 'tempting'
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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: Haley would be 'very strong' presidential candidate Watchdog: First lady spokeswoman may have violated Hatch Act with ‘MAGA’ tweet MORE on Tuesday laid out an argument in a speech Tuesday for President Trump to potentially declare Iran in violation of the nuclear deal later this year.

Haley detailed the “many flaws” in the Iran nuclear deal, though several of the examples occurred before the agreement was created. She also said that Iran was using the deal to “hold the world hostage to its bad behavior.” 

“The truth is, the Iran deal has so many flaws that it’s tempting to leave it,” she told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

“The deal was constructed in a way that makes leaving less attractive. It gave Iran what it wanted upfront in exchange for temporary promises to deliver what we want. That’s not good.” 

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Haley then insisted that, while she has discussed such issues with Trump, she does not know what decision he will make. 

The White House every 90 days must certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal negotiated between the U.S. and international powers. 

If Trump decides to decertify the deal in October, it would put the administration a step closer to pulling out of the agreement.

But Haley pressed that if Trump “chooses not to certify Iranian compliance, that does not mean the United States is withdrawing” from the agreement. She added that Congress could potentially re-impose sanctions on the country, pointing to the ongoing standoff over North Korea's nuclear program as an example. 

“If you look at North Korea now, the reasons we’re pushing for so many sanctions — do we think more sanctions are going to work on North Korea? Not necessarily. But what does it do? It cuts off the revenue that allows them to build ballistic missiles,” she said. 

Trump has frequently criticized the nuclear accord, vowing during the presidential campaign to back out of the agreement.

In July, the Trump administration certified Iran’s compliance with the deal, but said the country is "in default of the spirit” of the accord, citing its "malign activities" outside of the nuclear deal's terms.

The agreement, reached by the Obama administration in 2015, provided Tehran with sanctions relief in exchange for its adherence to the deal aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear program.