President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal today saying that the deal has not been renegotiated up to his standards.
“I made clear that if the deal could not be fixed, the United States would no longer be a party to the agreement,” the President said in a televised address from the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House.
“Over the past few months, we have engaged extensively with our allies and partners around the world, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We have also consulted with our friends from across the Middle East. We are unified in our understanding of the threat and in our conviction that Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon.”
“The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons. Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” he added.
President Trump decertified the deal under U.S. law last October but waived sanctions against Iran under the deal in January. The U.S. president must notify Congress every 90 days as to whether Iran is fulfilling its requirements under the deal’s terms. The President kept the waivers in place in January, but vowed not to do it again when the next deadline came around. That deadline was to occur this week.
The President wanted the deal expanded to include Iran’s non-nuclear, ballistic missile program. He wants Iran’s human-rights abuses, as well as their alleged state sponsoring of terror in places like Syria, Yemen and Lebanon addressed as well.
Iran has vowed not to reopen negotiations.
“Let me make it absolutely clear once and for all: we will neither outsource our security nor will we renegotiate or add on to a deal we have already implemented in good faith,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in a televised message earlier this week.
“Iran stands firm in the face of futile attempts at bullying. But if the US continues to violate the agreement, or if it withdraws altogether, we will exercise our right to respond, in a manner of our choosing. Bluster or threats won’t get the US a ‘new deal,’ particularly as it is not honoring the deal it already made.”
“To put it in real estate terms: when you buy a house and move your family in, or demolish it to build a skyscraper, you cannot come back two years later and try to renegotiate the price,” he added.
Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, also struck a defiant tone. “Today, we tell the world that if you are worried about Iran achieving nuclear weapon, we have fully eliminated this concern in the JCPOA,” using an acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran deal’s official name.
“People must be sure that we are considering the necessary decisions for different US scenarios and that US will suffer serious damage in this. In this regard, either what we want from the JCPOA will be provided without the US, or if we see what we are want has not been achieved, we will have our plans,” he said.
Photo by The White House