The Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015 by Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, France, Germany and the European Union. United States Department of State photo.
Trump railed against Iran nuclear deal during election campaign
Two White House sources tell Reuters that US President Donald Trump has all but decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, but they say they are unsure exactly how he will abandon the agreement.
The 2015 Iran deal was signed by the parties to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. It was among former US President Barack Obama’s signature foreign policies, but in the past, Trump has described it as “one of the worst deals I have ever witnessed”.
Should Trump decide to end US sanctions relief, the agreement would be in serious jeopardy. Iran could then decide to resume its nuclear arms program or “punish” US allies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, diplomats told Reuters.
Trump has until May 12 to make his decision on renewing “waivers” which suspend some US sanctions on Iran. According to one of the sources, Trump may end up not completely pulling out of the agreement, but the source was unable to describe any details of such a move.
According to Reuters, there is a possibility that Trump may opt to keep the US in the international pact, in part because of “alliance maintenance” with France after French President Emmanuel Macron urged Trump to remain in the agreement when the two met in Washington last week.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a presentation on what he described as documentary evidence that Iran was not complying with the pact. UN inspectors say Iran has been in compliance with the agreement and Iran flatly denied Netanyahu’s claims.
As well, Iran denies ever seeking nuclear weapons and accuses Israel of inciting suspicions.
As for Trump, the White House official who spoke to Reuters said the president was “most of the way there toward pulling out of the deal but he hasn’t made the decision” and that he “seems poised to do it but until a decision is made by this president it is not final.”
Another White House official said top aides are not aggressively trying to talk Trump out of withdrawal because he seems intent on it.