President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced the U.S. government's withdrawal from the Iran deal, marking one of the biggest foreign-policy decisions of his tenure so far.
Trump complained the Iran deal supplied the “murderous” Iranian regime with “billions” of dollars and said allowing the deal to stand would be “unacceptable” and catalyze a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East.
“Since the agreement, Iran's bloody ambitions have grown only more brazen,” Trump said. “The Iran deal is defective at its core.”
“Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” Trump added.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) May 8, 2018
There's no credible evidence Iran has violated the terms of the deal, despite recent claims from the Israeli government, which Trump cited during his announcement on Tuesday.
Trump informed Congress of his decision to withdraw from the Iran deal shortly before he was set to make a formal announcement, a congressional source told Business Insider.
This came after The New York Times reported Trump informed French President Emmanuel Macron of his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the landmark pact in a phone call Tuesday morning.
The president has long criticized the Iran deal, which was orchestrated by the Obama administration and aimed to restrict Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for the easing of harsh economic sanctions.
Trump has repeatedly called the deal “terrible,” a characterization he reiterated as he hosted Macron in Washington in late April.
Withdrawing from the deal could have numerous consequences for the U.S. and the wider world, and puts Trump in a precarious position with some of America's top allies. Some have expressed concerns that such a move could hamper upcoming talks with North Korea regarding its nuclear program. During his announcement Tuesday, Trump said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is en route to North Korea to finalize the details surrounding the meeting.
With that said, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday suggested that his country would not necessarily withdraw from the pact just because the U.S. does, flip-flopping on his previous statements.
“We are not worried about America's cruel decisions. … We are prepared for all scenarios and no change will occur in our lives next week,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.
According to a recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS, a majority of Americans (63%) do not want the U.S. to step away from Iran deal, while just 29% supported withdrawing.
Read more from Business Insider:
- Trump has decided to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal — here are the winners and losers
- Trump's move on the Iran deal could torpedo negotiations with North Korea before they even start
- Mike Pompeo made an unannounced trip to North Korea, and he didn't seem to even know who he'd be meeting with
- The Air Force is working on a plan to fast-track development of hypersonic weapons
- 'The president is creating a new nuclear crisis': Lawmakers are concerned about Trump's withdrawal from Iran deal