President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement if Congress and US allies do not agree to strengthen it, throwing the future of the deal into doubt as he unveiled a tough and comprehensive new policy toward the Islamic Republic.
“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,” Trump said in a major speech at the White House laying out the sharp turn in US Iran policy.
Trump accused Iran of committing “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 Tehran is complying with the 2015 deal reached by former President Barack Obama and major world powers.
He singled out Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for sanctions and delivered a blistering critique of Tehran, which he accused of destabilizing actions in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.
“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,” Trump said.
Trump’s hardline remarks drew praise from Israel, Iran’s arch-foe, but was criticized by European allies.
The move by Trump was part of his “America First” approach to international agreements which has led him to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
His Iran strategy angered Tehran and put Washington at odds with other signatories of the accord – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union – some of which have benefited economically from renewed trade with Iran.
Responding to Trump, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran was committed to the deal and accused Trump of making baseless accusations.
SOURCE: CNN / Reuters