In an announcement that surprised virtually no one, including Iran, President Donald Trump said Tuesday the United States is withdrawing from the controversial Iran nuclear agreement.
The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was touted as a major achievement of the Obama administration when the U.S. agreed to it in 2015 along with United Kingdom, Russia, France, China – all permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - and Germany.
"The fact is this a horrible one-sided deal," Trump declared on Tuesday, "that never, ever should have been made."
While announcing the U.S. withdrawal, Trump said he is also signing a presidential memorandum that reinstates the "highest level" of economic sanctions against Iran.
Iran deal 'defective at its core': Trump
WASHINGTON (Associated Press) - President Donald Trump said today that the United States is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, which he is calling "defective at its core."
Trump on Tuesday signed a presidential memorandum withdrawing from the 2015 agreement, and he is planning to reinstall sanctions on the Iranian regime. He said in an address to the nation that he will be reinstituting the highest level of sanctions and warning any country not to help the Iranian government.
America "will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail," he said, and will not allow "a regime that chants 'Death to America'" to gain access to nuclear weapons.
President Donald Trump says "great things" can happen for the Iranian people following his announcement that the U.S. was withdrawing from a global nuclear agreement. He predicted Tuesday that Iranians would someday "want to make a new and lasting deal" and that "when they do, I am ready, willing and able."
Despite lobbying from European allies, Trump moved forward with his campaign promise to pull out of the President Barack Obama-era agreement. The president said he made the decision after consulting with U.S. allies.
The announcement came after Trump briefed Capitol Hill lawmakers that he was withdrawing, Fox News reported before Trump spoke.
Then-candidate Trump campaigned on scrapping the Iran deal but faced opposition from his own administration, including some Republicans in Congress.
Trump pointed to Israel's bombshell announcement last week that it had secreted thousands of documents out of Iran showing the regime's commitment to a nuclear weapon and breaking the agreement.
Trump also pointed out that he has told U.S. allies that the United States would remain if concerns were addressed and changed.
Finally, Trump spoke directly to the "long-suffering people" of Iran, telling them that America stands with them.
"The future of Iran belongs it its people," he declared.
JERUSALEM (Associated Press) - Israel's prime minister is praising President Donald Trump for withdrawing the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Benjamin Netanyahu called Trump's decision Tuesday an "historic move." He says leaving the Iran deal unchanged would be "a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world."
Netanyahu is a leading critic of the deal, saying it did not contain sufficient safeguards to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear-weapons capability or address Iran's other activities across the region.
He says Iran's aggression has grown since the deal, especially in Syria, where he says it is "trying to establish military bases to attack Israel."
Earlier, Israel's military said forces were on high alert and ordered bomb shelters open in the Golan Heights after spotting "irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria."
Response from Macron, et al.
PARIS (Associated Press) - The French president’s office says France, Britain and Germany “regret” U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Iranian nuclear accord, calling it a threat to global efforts to contain nuclear weapons.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the “nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake” because of Trump’s announcement Tuesday.
Macron’s office says the French president spoke Tuesday evening with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May about the Iran accord and next steps after Trump’s decision.
The three European countries negotiated the 2015 deal with the U.S., Russia, China and Iran.