President Donald Trump said the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, in the latest reversal of one his predecessor’s signature initiatives.
In a statement delivered at the White House, Trump said he will reimpose the “highest level” of economic sanctions on Iran.
“This was a horrible, one-sided deal that never should have been made,” Trump said.
“At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction — that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program. Today we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie,” Trump said.
Iran agreed to curb the development of its nuclear program and to comply with a system of inspections in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Intelligence officials, including director of national intelligence Dan Coats and CIA director Mike Pompeo said in recent congressional testimony that they had found no evidence that Iran was not in compliance. But Trump cited Israeli intelligence presented by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week to make the claim that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
Trump also said that with the lifting of sanctions, Iran’s government has gotten access to financial markets and has continued to fund terrorist activities of Hezbollah and Hamas.
The deal was a signature foreign policy achievement of President Barack Obama’s administration. The agreement was between Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., the U.K., China, France, Russia, and Germany.