President Donald Trump has said the US will exit the Iran nuclear agreement in breach of the landmark deal brokered under former President Barack Obama.
There had been heightened fears that Trump would pull out of the deal, which aims to stop Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for economic incentives.
“After these consultations it is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying, rotten structure of the current agreement,” Trump said.
Trump described the move as a “withdrawal,” which is technically incorrect because the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is not a treaty, hence the US can only abide by or violate the terms of the Iran accord.
Though not providing evidence, Trump is claiming that Iran is building a nuclear program in violation of the deal, saying “At the heart of the deal was a giant fiction.”
Trump’s decision has triggered reactions both in the US and abroad, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi describing it as “dangerous and impulsive.”
“Today is a sad day for America’s global leadership,” she said. “The Trump Administration’s dangerous and impulsive action is no substitute for real global leadership.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, who was in the US a fortnight ago to dissuade Trump from pulling out of the deal, said the decision was ‘regrettable’.
France, Germany, and the UK regret the U.S. decision to leave the JCPOA. The nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 8, 2018
Also, EU president Donald Tusk released a statement promising a “united European approach” to Trump’s decision.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) May 8, 2018
Trump also announced that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was due in North Korea in an hour, but it remains unclear how his latest move will affect the coming summit between the Trump and Kim Jong-un, with North expected to end its nuclear programme.