President Donald Trump announced earlier today that the United States would exit the Iran nuclear deal.
“It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement,” Trump said from the White House Diplomatic Room. “The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing we know exactly what will happen.”
Trump had long campaigned against the nuclear deal and made exiting the agreement one of the signature pledges of his candidacy during the 2016 presidential election. He noted that any nation that helps Iran obtain nuclear weapons would also be “strongly sanctioned.”
Statement on the Iran Nuclear Deal: https://t.co/O3SpryCKkc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2018
“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” the President said. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”
The president had earlier criticized the deal as one of the Obama administration’s “worst” decisions, and in his statements, he expressed his belief that the deal served to benefit the Iranian regime while sponsoring terrorism.
“At the point when the US had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actually cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen,” Trump said.
It didn’t take long for Tehran to respond. The Associated Press reports that the Iranian president said that should negotiations fail, “the Islamic Republic will enrich uranium ‘more than before … in next weeks.”
BREAKING: Iran's president says if negotiations fail, Islamic Republic will enrich uranium 'more than before … in next weeks'
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 8, 2018
The president’s move earned a harsh rebuke from numerous political figures, particularly those who helped negotiate the deal.
Ending the United States’s participation in the nuclear deal “will have a devastatingly chilling effect on any kind of economic activity” between Europe and Iran,” said Tony Blinken, former deputy secretary of State under former president Barack Obama.