President Trump threatens to shut down Iran nuclear deal

Published: 14 October 2017 Image credit: Reuters

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US President Donald Trump has struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, “decertifying” his support for the international deal and threatening that it could be shut down at any moment.

President Trump accused Iran of “not living up to the spirit” of the agreement, and detailed a more confrontational approach over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and support for extremist groups in the Middle East.

President Trump said that Iran has committed “multiple violations of the agreement”, despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency, America’s European allies and even his own government say that the country’s capital is complying with the deal agreed by former President Barack Obama.

“As I have said many times, the Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” President Trump said.

“We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout.”

The fate of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has now been left in the hands of the US Congress, who have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the pact.

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Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has called President Trump's claims that they are not complying with the deal "baseless". Image: Reuters

Doing so would increase tensions with Iran, as well as put Washington at odds with other signatories of the accord such as Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union.

“I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons,” President Trump said.

“In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated. It is under continuous review and our participation can be cancelled by me as President at any time.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has responded to what he says are "baseless” accusations by President Trump, saying that “Iran and the deal are stronger than ever.”