Trump expected to remove US from Iran nuke deal

Greg Nash

President Trump is expected to announce Tuesday he will not continue sanctions relief for Iran, a major step toward ending the 2015 nuclear pact he has long blasted as the “worst deal ever.”

Specifics about the steps Trump is expected to take are still unknown, such as how long it might take to reimpose sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the deal.


Trump will reveal his decision to the public at 2 p.m. in the Diplomatic Room of the White House.

The New York Times, citing a source, reported that the U.S. will reimpose all sanctions waived under the Iran deal and impose new penalties, a sweeping move that will almost certainly trigger a showdown with Tehran. The report was published after Trump discussed his decision with French President Emmanuel Macron. 

A senior European diplomat said the chances of the deal remaining intact are “very small” but said the Trump administration is determined to “have a new start” with its approach to Iran.
“It’s pretty obvious to me that unless something changes in the next few days, I believe the president will not waive the sanctions,” the diplomat said in an email. “And that will have various consequences that I think we have yet fully to understand and spell out.”

Supporters of the deal have already begun lashing out at Trump in anticipation of the announcement.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said Trump was demolishing U.S. credibility with the move.


The announcement will follow weeks of furious lobbying by European allies who sought to convince Trump to remain in the deal.

They wanted to negotiate a side agreement that would assuage the president’s concerns, such as ballistic missile activity and Iran’s military interventions in the Middle East. 

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made a last-minute visit to the White House on Monday to argue his case to senior officials, following presidential meetings with Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

But each leader left the U.S. pessimistic about the deal’s future. 

“My view — I don’t know what your president will decide — is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons,” Macron told a group of reporters late last month.

Trump promised during the 2016 campaign to pull the U.S. out of the agreement and has consistently derided the Obama-era pact since taking office. But on multiple previous occasions, he has been convinced by advisers to extend sanctions relief under the agreement.  

The president appears determined to follow through on his campaign promise this time around. He took to Twitter early Tuesday morning to blast former Secretary of State John Kerry, who has reportedly met with Iran’s top diplomat to discuss ways to salvage the deal. 

“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 wrote. 

The U.S. and five other nations entered into the agreement with Iran three years ago. The Iran agreed to restrict its nuclear activities to prevent it from developing a weapon in exchange for sanctions relief.

If the deal falls apart, Iran could decide to eject nuclear inspectors and resume uranium enrichment and weapons development. 

The Trump administration has not said how it plans to handle Tehran’s nuclear ambitions absent the nuclear agreement, nor has it explained how it will address foreign banks and other companies who do business with Iran if sanctions go back into place.

–Updated at 12:15 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Iran Iran nuclear deal John Kerry Samantha Power

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