On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that he plans to follow through on his threat to pull out of the Obama-era Iran Nuclear Deal. President Trump held a press conference at the White House this afternoon to address the official withdrawal from the deal.
“Over the years, Iran and its proxies have bombed…murdered hundreds of American service members…tortured citizens…,” he said.
Following the last week revelations from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which revealed a mass of documents on the regime showing they previously sought to build a nuclear weapons, Trump said the agreement made was a, “one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made…[the deal] is defective at its core.”
He went on to say, “In the years since the deal, Iran’s military budget has grown over 40 percent, while its economy is doing very badly…Even if Iran fully complies, the regime could be on the edge of a full nuclear [proliferation].”
The president hinted at withdrawing the U.S. from the nuclear deal while be was campaigning for the office in 2016. At the press conference he said that if the, “deal could not be fixed the U.S. would not longer be a party to the agreement.”
The agreement, struck in 2015 by the U.S., other world powers and Iran, lifted most U.S. and international sanctions against the country. In return, the country agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program making it impossible to produce a bomb, along with rigorous inspections.
“Iran’s bloody ambitions have only grow more brazen…Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapons,” Trump stated. “…it is clear to me we cannot prevent an Iranian bomb under the decaying, rotten structure of the agreement.”
“If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen…[the] world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism will be on the cusp of obtaining a nuclear weapon.” he explained.
Furthermore, President Trump said he will be instituting the highest levels of economic sanctions and that any other nation that “does business” with the regime could possibly be subject to the same.
It was not immediately clear which sanctions would be slapped back on Iran and how quickly. Some close to the White House, according to AP, expected grace periods of a few months to half a year to be granted so that businesses and governments can wind down operations that would violate re-imposed U.S. sanctions.
Trump expressed, “We will not be hostage to nuclear blackmail…american cities threatened with nuclear destruction…the U.S. no longer makes empty threats, when I make promises I keep them.”
Recently, following rumors of a deal break between the U.S. and Iran, President Hassan Rouhani sought to calm nerves in Tehran, emphasizing that Iran will continue to seek “engagement with the world.”
“It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Rouhani said.
In the most predictable scenario, President Trump would have sanctions on Iran’s central bank placed back, targeting oil exports. On Monday, Rouhani said his country could stick with the deal if the European Union, whose economies do far more business with Iran than the U.S., offer guarantees that Iran would keep benefiting.