President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he will pull the US out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, reviving economic sanctions on the nation, according to Reuters. The US president called the agreement “a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” that was “decaying and rotten,” and “an embarrassment.”
The move is likely to upset US allies in Europe, who advised Trump to remain in the deal. Leaders from the UK, Germany, and France released a joint statement expressing “regret and concern” over Trump’s decision.
The withdrawal has already raised tensions in the Middle East, with Israel vigilant for conflict with Syria, an ally of Iran. And Iran has already announced plans to restart uranium enrichment. According to President Hassan Rouhani:
“The US has announced that it doesn’t respect its commitments,” continuing to say “I have ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to be ready for action if needed, so that if necessary we can resume our enrichment on an industrial level without any limitations.”
He did say Iran would wait, and discuss the plan with other signatories of the deal.
“If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place,” said Rouhani.
The deal had limited Iran’s nuclear program, while lifting economic sanctions on the country by the US, EU, and the UN. Trump, however, has taken issues with limited time frame on nuclear restrictions, and claimed Iran had used $100 billion gained from the deal “as a slush fund for weapons, terror, and oppression” throughout the region.
A statement from the website of the US treasury said sanctions may not be immediately reimposed, but will ultimately affect industries discussed in the original 2015 deal, including Iran’s oil industry, aircraft exports, trade in precious metals, and purchases of US banknotes by the Iranian government. The sanctions will limit Iran’s ability to trade oil internationally, or to use the international banking system. The country produces 3.8 million barrels of oil daily, totaling almost 4 percent of the world’s supply. Most of these exports go to Japan, China, India, and South Korea.
The withdrawal from the deal may strengthen hardliners within Iran who wish to limit Rouhani’s moves to open up to Western nations.
Iran has stated that its nuclear program is for energy rather than weapons, and UN inspectors have said the country has abided by the 2015 agreement. Senior US officials have supported that assertion.