State Dept nuclear expert leaves agency after Trump withdraws from Iran deal

State Dept nuclear expert leaves agency after Trump withdraws from Iran deal
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A top nuclear expert has resigned from the State Department following President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Richard Johnson, acting assistant coordinator in the agency’s Office of Iran Nuclear Implementation, stepped down this week, according to Foreign Policy.

Johnson had been involved in negotiations with European countries working to save the deal.


“I am proud to have played a small part in this work, particularly the extraordinary achievement of implementing the [deal] with Iran, which has clearly been successful in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Johnson said in an email to colleagues about his departure.

Trump announced Tuesday that he would pull the U.S. out of the Obama-era nuclear pact, moving to reinstate economic sanctions against Iran.

Officials told Foreign Policy that the 38-year-old Johnson’s departure is the latest symptom of what they have dubbed a “brain drain” in the agency under the Trump administration. About 60 percent of top-ranking career diplomats left the department under Trump.

Johnson will join the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit aimed at preventing attacks with weapons of mass destruction.