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May 8, 2018

Trump announces he will withdraw US from Iran nuclear deal | CNBC | Politics - May 8, 2018.

cnbc.com

Trump announces he will withdraw US from Iran nuclear deal

Tom DiChristopher

President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday he will withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and restore sanctions on Tehran suspended under the 2015 accord.
The landmark agreement lifted sanctions on Iran that crippled its economy and cut its oil exports roughly in half. In exchange for sanctions relief, Iran accepted limits on its nuclear program and allowed international inspectors into its facilities.
Trump said he will restore sanctions on Iran, though he did not offer evidence that Tehran has violated the terms of the nuclear deal. Congressional sources tell CNBC the administration plans to wind down various aspects of the deal over 90- or 180-day periods.
"We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction," Trump said. "Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States."
Exiting the deal fulfills one of Trump's campaign promises, but threatens to strain U.S. relations with some of its closest allies and disrupt a significant source of the world's oil. It also gives Iran the option of expelling inspectors and resuming nuclear activity that it has agreed to suspend.
President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Washington. Evan Vucci | AP
President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Washington.
Trump has long threatened to scrap the accord, the signature foreign policy achievement of the Obama administration. However, he certified that Iran was complying with the agreement throughout his first year in the Oval Office, reportedly under pressure from the moderate wing of his administration.
Still, the president began the process of unraveling the deal in October, when he told Congress the agreement was no longer in the country's national security interest. At that point his administration began to push Congress and European allies to reopen negotiations and revise the accord.
The last time Trump certified Iran's compliance in January, he warned that it would be the last time unless Washington reached a deal with Europe to toughen the terms of the nuclear agreement. That deal has not materialized ahead of the next deadline on May 12.
"Today's action sends a critical message," Trump said. "The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them."
In addition to the United States, Iran negotiated the deal with China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. Those countries, along with the European Union, are trying to preserve the deal, creating the risk of a diplomatic and economic rift with the United States.
The United States' outsize influence over the global financial system make its sanctions powerful tools. The Treasury Department can lock foreign businesses out of the U.S. market if they refuse to comply with sanctions on Iran.
"As we exit the Iran deal, we will be working with our allies to find a real, comprehensive, and lasting solution to the Iranian threat," Trump said.
Those efforts will target Iran's ballistic missile program and its role in conflicts through the Middle East, Trump added.
"As we build this global effort, sanctions will go into full effect and will remind the Iranian regime of the diplomatic and economic isolation that results from its reckless and malign activity," the State Department said in a statement.
— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed reporting to this story.