After months of playing coy, President Donald Trump confirmed on Tuesday that he will pull the United States out of the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—more commonly known as the “Iran Deal”—which sought to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Speaking from the White House, Trump called the deal “disastrous” and “rotten.” This is a departure from the broad consensus among American diplomatic, military, and legislative leaders and intelligent people more generally that the deal is both effective and working.
Trump made the case in his address that Iran had continued to pursue its nuclear program, saying at one point that, “We have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie.” (There is no evidence to support this.) He also said he was imposing the “highest level” of economic sanctions on Iran, and that he was willing to strike a new nuclear deal which would solve the supposed problems of the current one.
The move, while hardly surprising (Trump has loudly voiced his displeasure with the deal essentially since its signing), has alarmed many in the international diplomatic community. And though Trump called the deal a “great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States,”63% of the American public believes the U.S. should not pull out of the nuclear deal, according to a new CNN poll.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani prepared his country for the economic fallout created by pending U.S. sanctions, telling them on Tuesday that “It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months.”
Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran deal comes as he is simultaneously working to prevent North Korea from continuing its development of nuclear weapons—which is ironic.
This is a developing story and will be updated.