WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has announced his decision to withdraw the United States from Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers and re-impose sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” Mr. Trump said at the White House in announcing his decision. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”
Statement on the Iran Nuclear Deal: https://t.co/O3SpryCKkc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2018
Calling it “decaying and rotten”, he said the deal was “an embarrassment” to him “as a citizen”.
As a result, the United States is now preparing to reinstate all sanctions it had waived as part of the nuclear accord — and impose additional economic penalties as well, the New York Times reported.
President Trump is terminating the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran and re-imposing sanctions lifted under the deal. https://t.co/ACJODlAw0p
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 8, 2018
In response, Iran said it was preparing to restart uranium enrichment, key for making both nuclear energy and weapons.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said: “The U.S. has announced that it doesn’t respect its commitments.
“I have ordered the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran to be ready to start the enrichment of uranium at industrial levels.”
He said he would “wait a few weeks” to speak to allies and those who were committed to the nuclear deal.
“All depends on our national interests,” he said.
Shortly after Mr. Trump’s announcement, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a post on Twitter: “France, Germany and the United Kingdom regret the US decision to get out of the Iranian nuclear deal.”
France, Germany, and the UK regret the U.S. decision to leave the JCPOA. The nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 8, 2018
“The international regime against nuclear proliferation is at stake.”
The European Union’s top diplomat says Europe is “determined to preserve” the Iran deal following President Trump’s decision to withdraw from it.
The EU’s Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini, said she expects the “rest of the international community to continue implementing the Iran nuclear deal.”
“The Iran nuclear deal is working and delivering, to ensure Tehran doesn’t develop nuclear weapons,” Mogherini said in Rome.
Iran Nuclear Deal
The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) saw Iran agree to limit the size of its stockpile of enriched uranium – which is used to make reactor fuel, but also nuclear weapons – for 15 years and the number of centrifuges installed to enrich uranium for 10 years.
Iran also agreed to modify a heavy water facility so it could not produce plutonium suitable for a bomb.
In return, sanctions imposed by the U.N., U.S. and E.U. that had crippled Iran’s economy were lifted.
The deal was agreed between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – the U.S., U.K., France, China and Russia – plus Germany.
Iran insists its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).