President Trump rolled out his much-anticipated decision to "withdraw" from the Iran nuclear deal, in keeping with a longtime campaign promise. The president claimed Tuesday that there is Israeli intelligence proving Iran is not in compliance with the agreement.
Mr. Trump said he fears the 2015 deal will allow the Iranian regime to amass nuclear weapons.
"In just a short period of time, the world's leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world's most dangerous weapons," Mr. Trump said from the White House Diplomatic Room. "Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal."
What that means practically speaking, is the U.S. will not renew the sanctions waiver and will no longer participate in the Iran nuclear deal, CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe and Rebecca Kaplan reported. According to the U.S. Treasury, its Office of Foreign Assets control is taking action immediately to implement Mr. Trump's decision. Sanctions will have 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods, at the end of which relevant, previous sanctions the U.S. had waived will be reinstated.
U.S. intelligence has verified that the deal has been an effective arms control deal that has kept Iran's nuclear program frozen for three years, CBS News "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan has noted. Mr. Trump is delivering on another campaign promise, says Brennan, but one which is arguably far more consequential than any other deal he's torn up.
Mr. Trump did not answer shouted questions from a reporter in the room about how leaving the deal will make the U.S. safer.
The Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was forged in 2015 during the Obama administration under then-Secretary of State John Kerry, as a multi-nation effort to keep Iran's nuclear program at bay.
"In theory, the so-called "Iran deal" was supposed to protect the United States and our allies from the lunacy of an Iranian nuclear bomb, a weapon that will only endanger the survival of the Iranian regime," Mr. Trump said Tuesday. "In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and, over time, reach the brink of a nuclear breakout."
The United Kingdom, France and Germany were all unable to persuade the Trump administration to broker a side deal that would satisfy the U.S. enough to keep it a party to the 2015 agreement. Shortly before the president was to announce his decision, the leaders of those countries, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were on a call to discuss their response to Mr. Trump's announcement, CBS News' Kylie Atwood reported, citing European diplomatic sources. The response from the international community was swift.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that France, Germany and the U.K. "regret" Mr. Trump's' decision, saying the "nuclear nonproliferation regime is at stake."
Mr. Trump insisted America will not be held "hostage" by such a deal.
"America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail," the president said. "We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction and we will not allow a regime that chants 'death to America' to gain access to the most deadly weapons on Earth."
That sentiment did well with his supporters.