President Donald Trump has promised the highest level of sanctions on Iran after announcing that US is leaving the nuclear deal. He promised Tehran “bigger problems than it has ever had before” if it develops nuclear weapons.
Trump called the agreement a “decaying and rotten structure… defective at its core,” which did little to limit Iran’s nuclear enrichment and provided the government in Tehran with cash to fund its “malign behavior” across the Middle East.
“Therefore, I am announcing today that the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” Trump said. “Today’s action sends a critical message: the US no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them.”
Powerful US sanctions against Iran will go into full effect, Trump said, and any country that aids Tehran’s nuclear or missile programs will find itself sanctioned as well. If Iran continues developing nuclear weapons, “it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before,” the US president said.
Trump professed admiration for the Iranian people, history and culture, but denounced the “dictatorship” that has held the country “hostage” for almost 40 years – a reference to the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the US-backed monarchy. The revolutionaries stormed the US embassy in Tehran and held fifty two Americans hostage for over a year.
The US president concluded his remarks on a strangely conciliatory note, saying he would be ready and willing to talk if the Iranian leadership decided to “make a new and lasting deal.”
“There has been enough suffering, death and destruction. Let it end now,” he said, before signing the presidential memorandum withdrawing the US from the JCPOA.
US sanctions will be reimposed over the next three to six months, the Treasury Department said following Trump’s announcement. Iran will be barred from buying or acquiring US dollars after 90 days. After that, sanctions will also be reimposed on sales of steel and coal, aluminum, the automotive sector, and passenger aircraft parts and services. Financial and oil-related sanctions will be back in place after 180 days.
Iran will remain in nuclear deal, US withdrawal illegal – Rouhani
Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Iranian nuclear deal is illegal, illegitimate and violating international agreements, Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, in a televised address.
Rouhani said that Iran has always complied with the nuclear deal and is going to stay in the accord despite the US pullout. The Iranian Foreign Ministry was instructed to hold talks on the nuclear deal with the EU, Russia and China within the next few weeks.
“If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place… By exiting the deal, America has officially undermined its commitment to an international treaty,” Rouhani said.
The President called Trump’s decision to quit the agreement “a historic experience for Iran,” adding that Washington had never fulfilled its commitment as part of the 2015 international agreement.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump announced that Washington will “withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal” and that sanctions will be imposed against Tehran. The US President argued that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) didn’t prevent Iran from enriching uranium and would’ve caused a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
“Today’s action sends a critical message: the US no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them,” Trump said.
The JCPOA deal, signed by Iran and P5+1 powers (China, France, Russia, UK, US, plus Germany) and the EU in 2015, saw international sanctions on Tehran lifted in exchange for Iran curbing its controversial nuclear program. Trump pulled the US from the accord despite the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirming Tehran’s compliance with the deal on numerous occasions and attempts by France, Germany and other EU nations to talk him out of the decision.