US President Donald Trump announced withdrawal of presidential support for the landmark Iran nuclear deal by declining its certification. He, however, stopped short of cancelling the deal. In his hard-hitting speech from the White House, Trump accused Iran of violating the spirit of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
He said that Iran has “committed multiple violations” of the nuclear deal which among other things allows Tehran to continue and advance its nuclear weapons programme.
“I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said in a live address to the nation.
A presidential certification to the Congress is must to avoid American sanctions on Iran.
Speaking on the fate of the deal, Trump said if he is “not able to reach a solution working with congress and our allies”, then the “agreement will be terminated”. It is under continuous review and American participation can be cancelled by him as president at any time, he said.
The Iran nuclear deal was signed by Iran and 5+1 group of countries (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany) in 2015 under which Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear programme for 15 years in exchange for sanctions relief.
He also accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and said he would deny the regime “all paths to a nuclear weapon”.
“Iran is under the control of a fanatical regime that seized power in 1979 and forced a proud people to submit to its extremist rule. This radical regime has raided the wealth of one of the world’s oldest and most vibrant nations, and spread death, destruction and chaos all around the globe,” he said.
Trump also announced several major steps his administration is taking in pursuit of this strategy. This he said begins with the long overdue step of imposing tough sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Responding, Iran said US has more than ever “isolated” itself with this move.
Speaking in a televised address, Iran President Hassan Rouhani said, “Today the United States is more than ever isolated in its opposition to the nuclear deal and in its plots against the Iranian people”.
“What was heard today was nothing but the repetition of baseless accusations and swear words that they have repeated for years,” Rouhani said, adding, “The Iranian nation does not expect anything else from you.”
Iran also dismissed Trump’s threat to tear up the landmark deal between Tehran and six world powers including Washington if Congress does not impose tough new sanctions on Iran.
“He has not studied international law. Can a president annul a multilateral international treaty on his own?” Rouhani said.
“Apparently he doesn’t know that this agreement is not a bilateral agreement solely between Iran and the United States,” the Iran President said.
(With inputs from Agencies)