Donald Trump withdraws from Iran nuclear deal
“This was a one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” Trump said during an address at the White House.
The president explained that the U.S. will begin enforcing the “highest level” of sanctions on the Iranian regime. The sanctions will target key parts of the country’s economy such as energy and financial sectors.
In 2015, former president Barack Obama and the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, Germany and the European Union reached an agreement with Iran that required it to curb its nuclear program. In exchange, the deal lifted some sanctions on Tehran that had previously hindered its economy.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran was set to expire in 2025.
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Trump said Tuesday that the deal was “a great embarrassment” to all American citizens from the very beginning, and has only helped Iran develop its nuclear capabilities.
Iran has previously threatened it would restart its nuclear program if the U.S. reimposed sanctions.
On Tuesday, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, warned the country could face “some problems,” just hours before Trump announced his decision.
“It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Rouhani said.
Rouhani also stressed Iran wants to keep “working with the world and constructive engagement with the world.” That appeared to be a nod to Europe, which has struck a series of business deals with Iran since the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
Reactions around the world
Many countries reacted to the withdrawal moments after Trump’s announcement.
Among those supportive of the move was Saudi Arabia. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also made a televised address after Trump’s announcement, lauding the U.S. president’s hard tack on Iran.
Response from Europe was not nearly as optimistic.
The top European Union diplomat, Federica Mogherini, called on the international community to stick to the Iran nuclear deal despite Trump’s decision.
“The European Union is determined to preserve it,” she said. “Together with the rest of the international community, we will preserve this nuclear deal.”
— With files from Reuters, The Associated Press
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