President Trump on Friday threatened to kill the Iran nuclear deal if Congress did not act quickly to make “satisfactory” changes.
“They may come back with something that's very satisfactory to me, and if they don't, within a very short period of time, I'll terminate the deal,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
The comments came after Trump announced he would not certify Iran's compliance with the 2015 agreement, which imposes restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
“We will see what happens with Iran. We’re very unhappy with Iran. They have not treated us with the kind of respect that they should be treating,” Trump said after his announcement.
Despite his criticism of the deal, Trump stopped short of withdrawing from the pact entirely.
Instead, he asked Congress to approve fixes to it, including effectively ending sunset provisions that allow Iran to resume uranium enrichment and other activities after a decade.
The president said he prefers to go that route rather than killing the deal entirely.
“The deal is terrible,” he said. “We’ll have Congress take a look at it, and I may very well do that. But I like a two-step process much better.”
The leaders of Britain, France and Germany criticized the move on Friday, suggesting it puts the deal in peril and could create a new security crisis in the Middle East.
Trump dismissed that criticism and suggested they were more concerned about protecting business deals between Iran and European companies.
“They would love me to stay in for one reason: Look at the money that’s being spent,” he said.