Iranian politicians set US flag on fire, chant ‘Death to America’
Iranian politicians set US flag on fire in parliament, chant ‘Death to America’ and accuse Trump of lacking ‘mental capacity to deal with issues’ following President’s pullout of nuclear deal
- Iranian lawmakers reacted angrily to President Donald Trump’s decision to nix the Iran nuclear agreement
- Trump said Tuesday that he will reimpose sanctions on Iran and punish any country that helps in its pursuit of nuclear weapons
- ‘America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail,’ he said in remarks from the Diplomatic Reception room of the White House
- Trump faced a May 12 deadline to decide what to do with the 2015 pact from which he said during his campaign that he’d extract the U.S.
- The United States’ European allies were begging Trump in the lead-up to the announcement to stay in the pact
- Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani blasted Trump, insisting that Trump’s ‘psychological war and economic pressures will not work’
- Rouhani told state-run TV that he’s ready to ‘start enriching uranium more than before, and will start ramping up production ‘in the next weeks’
- Former President Barack Obama, whose administration inked the Iran deal, called Tuesday’s pullback ‘misguided’
Iranian politicians have set fire to the US flag in parliament and accusing Donald Trump of lacking ‘mental capacity to deal with issues’ after the US President’s nuclear deal pullout.
Lawmakers chanted ‘death to America’ as they torched the Stars and Stripes and a symbolic copy of the Iran deal as a session of parliament began.
It comes after the country’s President Hassan Rouhani warned that Iran could restart enriching uranium ‘without any limitations’ within weeks, after Trump pulled America out of the nuclear deal with Tehran.
‘Trump does not have the mental capacity to deal with issues,’ parliament speaker Ali Larijani said.
Members of Iran’s parliament burned an American flag and a symbolic copy of the Iran deal as a session of parliament began in Tehran on Wednesday morning
They also chanted ‘Death to America,’ according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency
The chant ‘Death to America’ has long been used in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. It has also been common to hear it within parliament.
However, Wednesday’s demonstration reflected public anger in Iran after Trump’s decision.
Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal imposed restrictions on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of most US and international sanctions.
However, the deal came with time limits and did not address Iran’s ballistic missile program or its regional policies in Syria and elsewhere.
Trump has repeatedly pointed to those omissions in referring to the accord as the ‘worst deal ever.’
Proponents of the deal have said those time limits were meant to encourage more discussion with Iran in the future that could eventually address other concerns.
Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani slammed the US president, saying: ‘Trump does not have the mental capacity to deal with issues’
Many Iranians are worried about what Trump’s decision could mean for their country.
The Iranian rial is already trading on the black market at 66,000 to the dollar, despite a government-set rate of 42,000 rials.
Many say they have not seen any benefits from the nuclear deal.
Iran’s poor economy and unemployment sparked nationwide protests in December and January that saw at least 25 people killed and, reportedly, nearly 5,000 arrested.
The Iranians were reacting Wednesday to Trump’s decision to ditch the Iran nuclear deal, calling it ‘disastrous’ and an ’embarrassment.’
Trump said that the US now has ‘definitive proof’ that Iran was lying about its pursuit of nuclear weapons when it entered into the 2015 agreement.
And he threatened Tehran’s mullahs with new headaches if they resume their pursuit of a weapon of mass destruction.
‘If the regime continues its nuclear aspirations, it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before,’ the president warned. ‘It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement.’
‘The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen: 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.’
Barack Obama and his former secretary of state John Kerry both bashed Trump’s decision, calling it unnecessary and wrongheaded.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani responded, telling his country’s state-run TV network: ‘I have ordered Iran’s atomic organization that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before.’
Rouhani said Iran would start ramping up production ‘in the next weeks.’
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he’s ditching the Iran nuclear deal, calling it ‘disastrous’ and an ’embarrassment’
Trump signed a document on Tuesday reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal
Rouhani blasted Trump immediately after Tuesday’s speech.
‘Iran will be conferring with the world’s two super powers, Russia and China,’ he sniped, insisting that Trump’s ‘psychological war and economic pressures will not work.’
Leaders of America’s three staunchest European allies – France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Angela Merkel and the United Kingdom’s Theresa May – issued a joint statement asking the US not to do anything that would prevent them from keeping the nuclear deal intact even without Washington’s participation.
Iran ‘continues to abide by the restrictions’ of the deal,’ the three leaders said, citing a statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency, adding that ‘the world is a safer place as a result.’
‘Our governments remain committed to ensuring the agreement is upheld, and will work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure this remains the case including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement,’ they said.
The president has been outspoken for nearly three years about the nuclear bargain that he called ‘insane’ and ‘the worst deal in history.’
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, whose Cabinet department oversees economic sanctions against rogue regimes, said before Trump’s speech that ‘[w]e will continue to work with our allies to build an agreement that is truly in the best interest of our long-term national security.’
The United States, he said, will cut off Iran’s ‘access to capital’ to fund terrorism, ‘its use of ballistic missiles against our allies, its support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria, its human rights violations against its own people, and its abuses of the international financial system.’
National Security Advisor John Bolton (left) and Vice President Mike Pence (right) watched as Trump delivered his scripted remarks on Tuesday, and then Bolton briefed reporters off-camera in the White House briefing room
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani blasted Trump immediately after Tuesday’s speech: ‘Iran will be conferring with the world’s two super powers, Russia and China,’ he sniped, insisting that Trump’s ‘psychological war and economic pressures will not work’
French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that their countries will remain in the Iran nuclear deal and asked Trump to make sure the U.S. doesn’t do anything that would keep them from participating in it
Former President Barack Obama, whose administration inked the Iran deal, called Tuesday’s pullback ‘misguided.’
Walking away from the deal, he said in a statement, ‘turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated.’
Former President Barack Obama defended his signature foreign policy achievement as Trump tore it down on Tuesday
‘In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers,’ he added.
Obama cautioned that the agreement ‘was never intended to solve all of our problems with Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior – including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its neighbors.’
‘But that’s precisely why it was so important that we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,’ the former president said, articulating the central dispute in Washington over whether the deal was preventing Tehran’s nuclear weapons development or enabling it.
Trump implied Tuesday that the Obama administration’s best intentions were always bound to be steamrolled by Tehran’s lies.
‘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,’ Trump declared.
‘In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium, and over time reach the brink of a nuclear breakout.’
Trump said several times that the US will not under any circumstances allow Iran to join the ranks of nuclear nations – in no small part because of its belligerence toward America.
‘We will not allow a regime that chants “Death to America” to gain access to the most deadly weapons on earth,’ he sad.
The president added that he is reimposing the highest level of sanctions on Tehran, and the US will punish any country that helps Iran in its quest.
Former President Barack Obama published an impassioned defense of the Iran deal, one of his many signature accomplishments that the Trump administration has undone, on Facebook shortly after his successor spoke to the nation
‘America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail,’ Trump asserted in remarks from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.
National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters after Trump spoke that ‘we’re out of the deal.’
‘The only sure way to get on the path of stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons and delivery capabilities is to get out of the deal, and that’s what the president has done,’ he said.
Bolton said at the White House that sanctions would be snapped back into place on a rolling basis, with some segments of the pre-agreement situation returning quickly and others coming back in a matter of months.
No new commercial contracts will be permitted between US trading partners and Tehran, he said.
But for existing contracts, ‘there’s a wind-down period to allow orderly termination.’
And on the question of whether Trump’s abandonment of the terms of the 2015 deal means the US is now in violation of it, Bolton responded: ‘No, I don’t think we’re violating, I think we’re withdrawing from it.’
Tehran says it’s unwilling to enter into a new agreement with the US that addresses Trump’s other complaints about the rogue regime’s behavior, including its illicit financing of terrorism.
‘That’s fine. I’d probably say the same thing if I were in their position,’ Trump said Tuesday. ‘But the fact is they are probably going to want to make a new and lasting deal. … When they do I am ready willing and able.’
JOHN KERRY SAYS TRUMP’S DECISION ‘BREAKS AMERICA’S WORD’
Former secretary of state John Kerry, who helped negotiate the Iran deal in 2015, slammed Trump’s withdrawal as horrible foreign policy
‘Today’s announcement weakens our security, breaks America’s word, isolates us from our European allies, puts Israel at greater risk, empowers Iran’s hardliners, and reduces our global leverage to address Tehran’s misbehavior, while damaging the ability of future Administrations to make international agreements. No rhetoric is required. The facts speak for themselves.
‘Instead of building on unprecedented nonproliferation verification measures, this decision risks throwing them away and dragging the world back to the brink we faced a few years ago. The extent of the damage will depend on what Europe can do to hold the nuclear agreement together, and it will depend on Iran’s reaction.
‘America should never have to outsource those stakes to any other country. This is not in America’s interests. We should all hope the world can preserve the nuclear agreement.’
Protesters stood outside the White House Tuesday as Trump announced the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal
It came as no surprise globally that Trump announced the United States’ withdraw from the pact he inherited from the previous administration. The big unknown was what would happen next.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose nation’s existence Iran threatens on a regular basis, called Trump’s decision a ‘historic move,’ and said leaving the Iran deal intact would have been ‘a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world.’
He claimed Iran’s level of aggression has grown since the Obama-era deal – especially in Syria, where Tehran is ‘trying to establish military bases to attack Israel.’
The Israeli Defense Forces issued a warning just minutes before Trump broadcast his message.
‘Following the identification of irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria, the IDF has decided to change the civilian protection instructions in the Golan Heights and instructs local authorities to unlock and ready shelters in the area,’ the forces’ statement said.
‘The Israeli public should remain attentive to IDF instructions that will be given if necessary. Additionally, defense systems have been deployed and IDF troops are on high alert for an attack.’
Trump said the US would impose new sanctions on countries that help Iran in its quest for a nuclear weapon but did not say what he would do to companies that may have unrelated business deals with the Islamist nation.
White House legislative director Marc Short told DailyMail.com on Tuesday morning that the president ‘wants to see Iran end its nuclear program but also become a nation that is not funding terrorism, not attacking Israel not looking to continue to attack allies that we have.
President Donald Trump informed France’s Emmanuel Macron in a phone call this morning that he will pull the U.S. out the nuclear deal it signed onto three years ago after intense negotiations with Tehran
‘I think he’s looking for an agreement that brings Iran into the international community as opposed to being a rogue nation state that funds terrorism,’ Short said during a press scrum on the driveway leading into the West Wing.
Trump is anticipated to allow the oil sanctions that legally come up for discussion every 120 days under the deal to be reimposed on Tehran.
The sanctions cut Iran’s oil exports in half in 2012, Foreign Policy reports, and crippled the Islamic Republic’s economy.
European companies will have to choose, if the sanctions are slapped back on, whether they want to do business with the US or the taboo government, putting them in an undesirable position.
Trump is said to have informed informed Macron in a phone call this morning that he will pull the US out the nuclear deal it signed onto three years ago after intense negotiations with Tehran.
Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, piled on the partisan rancor after Trump finished shaking the Middle East’s Etch-a-Sketch.
Trump’s ‘reckless decision,’ Perez said, ‘makes the world less safe.’
‘[T]he president is threatening our national security, undermining American credibility, isolating us from our partners and allies, and abandoning our commitments under this agreement,’ he insisted.
Trump’s planned remarks had US allies on edge earlier in the day.
A senior British diplomat told DailyMail.com the U.K. was ‘deeply pessimistic’ ahead of public the announcement.
And Rouhani had said the US will have ‘historic remorse’ for its decision while insisting that ‘getting rid of America’s mischievous presence will be fine for Iran.’
‘If we can get what we want from a deal without America, then Iran will continue to remain committed to the deal,’ Rouhani said according to the Iran Daily.
‘What Iran wants is our interests to be guaranteed by non-American signatories.’
EUROPE RESPONDS TO TRUMP’S WITHDRAWAL FROM OBAMA’S IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
UK Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron of France issued a statement following President Trump’s remarks on Iran:
‘It is with regret and concern that we, the Leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States of America from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
‘Together, we emphasise our continuing commitment to the JCPoA. This agreement remains important for our shared security. We recall that the JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in resolution 2231. This resolution remains the binding international legal framework for the resolution of the dispute about the Iranian nuclear programme. We urge all sides to remain committed to its full implementation and to act in a spirit of responsibility.
‘According to the IAEA, Iran continues to abide by the restrictions set out by the JCPoA, in line with its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The world is a safer place as a result. Therefore we, the E3, will remain parties to the JCPoA. Our governments remain committed to ensuring the agreement is upheld, and will work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure this remains the case including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement.
‘We urge the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPoA can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal. After engaging with the US Administration in a thorough manner over the past months, we call on the US to do everything possible to preserve the gains for nuclear non-proliferation brought about by the JCPoA, by allowing for a continued enforcement of its main elements.
‘We encourage Iran to show restraint in response to the decision by the US; Iran must continue to meet its own obligations under the deal, cooperating fully and in a timely manner with IAEA inspection requirements. The IAEA must be able to continue to carry out its long-term verification and monitoring programme without restriction or hindrance. In turn, Iran should continue to receive the sanctions relief it is entitled to whilst it remains in compliance with the terms of the deal.
‘There must be no doubt: Iran’s nuclear program must always remain peaceful and civilian. While taking the JCPOA as a base, we also agree that other major issues of concern need to be addressed. A long-term framework for Iran’s nuclear programme after some of the provisions of the JCPOA expire, after 2025, will have to be defined. Because our commitment to the security of our allies and partners in the region is unwavering, we must also address in a meaningful way shared concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its destabilising regional activities, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. We have already started constructive and mutually beneficial discussions on these issues, and the E3 is committed to continuing them with key partners and concerned states across the region.
‘We and our Foreign Ministers will reach out to all parties to the JCPoA to seek a positive way forward. ‘
Trump teased his Iran deal announcement in a Monday afternoon tweet that provided no hints at what it would be
He told Obama era Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday morning that he needs to butt out – or else
Trump on Monday called Kerry’s intervention ‘possibly illegal’ and blamed him for the current arrangement that gave Tehran sanctions relief but would allow it to build nuclear bombs as soon as 2027
John Glaser, director of foreign policy studies at the right-leaning Cato Institute, warned Tuesday that if the US imposes external sanctions successfully, European companies will pull out of investment projects in Iran, removing the incentives that Rouhani would need to mollify hardliners in his country who want Iran to restart its nuclear program.
‘With lots of political will this deal could remain in place without the United States, but its going to be very, very difficult for the participants to manage,’ Glaser said.
Iran will feel ‘unburdened’ if the US leaves the pact, he said, and is likely to install new centrifuges to spin uranium and limit access to inspectors.
‘This could really unravel into something with grave consequences,’ he cautioned. ‘All my fingers and toes are crossed, because this is a good deal that should continue to be implemented.’
UK foreign minister Boris Johnson worried that Trump could take military action against Tehran on top of the expected sanctions renewal.
He also warned that collapse of the deal could set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE. wanting weapons, as well.
‘It’s already a very, very dangerous state at the moment, we don’t want to go down that road. There doesn’t seem to me at the moment to be a viable military solution,’ Johnson told Fox & Friends.
Johnson was in the US making last-ditch pleas for the US to stay in the deal to Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence and the president’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, both of whom are senior White House officials.
Commenting on the talks on Tuesday, a senior British diplomat told DailyMail.com that Johnson in the meetings noted ‘our frank views on its shortcomings in regards to broader Iranian activity in the Middle East.
‘Following the visit, unfortunately we are deeply pessimistic ahead of President Trump’s announcement later today,’ the person said.
‘However, we will have to wait and see what exactly President Trump says.’
The diplomat said, ‘Our objective will remain to uphold and maintain the JCPOA. We will need to wait to understand what the US plan is to deliver on our shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and addressing their regional behavior.’
Trump at a news conference last month rebuffed a reporter who asked about potential military action against Iran.
Kerry (left) is seen with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in 2016; Kerry met with Zarif last month for secret talks about how to undermine Trump’s bid to kill the nuclear deal
‘I don’t talk about whether or not I would use military force,’ Trump said at a joint presser with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
‘But I can tell you this, they will not be doing nuclear weapons. That I can tell you. OK? They are not going to be doing nuclear weapons. You can bank on it.’
Netanyahu has been pushing Trump to take a more aggressive posture toward Iran, his nation’s most prolific antagonist.
Netanyahu delivered a presentation last week claiming Israel’s intelligence agency had proof that Iran ‘lied’ about its intention to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
Trump complained about the nuclear deal consistently during his campaign and harangued it as a ‘very badly negotiated’ agreement in a tweet Monday that took aim at the secretary of state who helped to broker it.
The comment followed his remarks at a news conference alongside Macron that the deal was made ‘decayed foundations’ and was not structured to last.
‘Should have never, ever been made. I blame Congress. I blame a lot of people for it,’ Trump said.
Trump has until May 12 to decide whether he wants to allow a sanctions waiver that applies to Tehran to expire.
If the sanctions go back into effect, the US will be in violation of the agreement effectively ending its participation in the deal it entered into with the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.
Trump has said he would be willing to sign on to a companion agreement that encompasses the nuclear aspects of the current one and applies new pressure to Iran to abandon its ballistic missiles program, end terrorist financing and broker a peace agreement between the ruling government and rebels in Syria.
Macron told Trump last month that he would pursue such an agreement on behalf of Europe.
The French president told reporters after his White House visit that he suspected Trump would leave the 2015 accord in the meantime to hasten the process up.
Kerry has also been meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (left) and French President Emmanuel Macron (right) in attempts to salvage the Iran deal
Kerry could run afoul of the Logan Act, a 200+ year-old federal law that made it a felony for civilians to conduct foreign policy without authorization
Hinting at the action he is anticipated to take today Trump told Macron publicly, ‘I think we will have a great shot at doing a much bigger maybe deal, maybe not deal. We’re going to find out, but we’ll know fairly soon.’
He also said ‘nobody knows what I’m going to do on the 12th, although, Mr. President, you have a pretty good idea — but we’ll see.
‘But we’ll see also, if I do what some people expect, whether or not it will be possible to do a new deal with solid foundations,’ he said. ‘Because this a deal with decayed foundations. It’s a bad deal. It’s a bad structure. It’s falling down.’
Trump charged then in his most confrontational comments yet to Tehran that, ‘If Iran threatens us in any way, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid.’
Shedding light on his plans last Monday, Trump said a press conference: ‘I’m not telling you what I’m doing, but a lot of people think they know. And on or before the 12th, we’ll make a decision.
‘That doesn’t mean we won’t negotiate a real agreement,’ he added.
Trump’s White House spokeswoman and the president appeared to be on different wavelengths about the timing of that declaration on Monday, with Sarah Sanders saying at news conference that he would be making an ‘announcement on what his decision is soon’ only to have Trump tweet minutes later that it would come on Tuesday.
‘As you know he’s got a few days to do that, and we’ll let you know when he’s ready to make a decision on it,’ she said.
She also suggested that former Secretary of State John Kerry needs to butt out of negotiations after his secret meetings with foreign leaders were revealed.
Trump blasted Kerry on Tuesday morning as he prepared to take the U.S. foreign policy in a new direction.
‘John Kerry can’t get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it! Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!’ Trump said.
The president had already spoken out about Kerry’s ‘shadow diplomacy’ on Monday following news reports that the Obama administration official has secretly met with foreign governments in a bid to save the much-maligned deal.
The Boston Globe reported Friday that Kerry quietly met two weeks ago with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and had separate confabs with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French President Emmanuel Macron – all to strategize against Trump’s intention to upend the deal.
‘The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal,’ the president wrote Monday on Twitter. ‘He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!’
Sanders told reporters on Monday that Kerry’s advocacy won’t make a difference as Trump weighs what to do.
‘I don’t think that we would take advice from somebody who created what the president sees as one of the worst deals ever made,’ she said. ‘I don’t see why we would start listening to him now.’
A spokesman for Kerry issued a statement late Monday morning, defending his apparent habit of lobbying foreign governments as a civilian, potentially in violation of an obscure U.S. law known as the Logan Act.
‘I think every American would want every voice possible urging Iran to remain in compliance with the nuclear agreement that prevented a war,’ the statement said.
‘Secretary Kerry stays in touch with his former counterparts around the world just like every previous Secretary of State. Like America’s closest allies, he believes it is important that the nuclear agreement, which took the world years to negotiate, remain effective as countries focus on stability in the region.’
Kerry’s tenure as secretary of state ended when Trump took office in January of 2017. Trump replaced him with the since-fired Rex Tillerson. Mike Pompeo holds the Cabinet-level position now.
The Logan Act makes it a felony for unauthorized civilians to conduct foreign policy with nations that are in the midst of a dispute with the United States.
The statute dates back to 1799 and has only been used twice to indict people – in 1803 and 1852. Neither was convicted.
One defendant, a Peruvian admiral, was prosecuted for writing a letter to the president of Mexico to scuttle a competitor’s bid to build a railroad connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
The other was a farmer charged with the crime of writing a newspaper article urging western U.S. states to secede and join neighboring French territories.
Some legal scholars have written that the Logan Act is unconstitutional, and only remains on the books because it hasn’t been tested in court.
THE FULL SPEECH: TRUMP PULLS OUT OF THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
‘My fellow Americans: Today, I want to update the world on our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
‘The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and al Qaeda.
‘Over the years, Iran and its proxies have bombed American embassies and military installations, murdered hundreds of American servicemembers, and kidnapped, imprisoned, and tortured American citizens. The Iranian regime has funded its long reign of chaos and terror by plundering the wealth of its own people.
‘No action taken by the regime has been more dangerous than its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them.
‘In 2015, the previous administration joined with other nations in a deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program. This agreement was known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
‘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. In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and, over time, reach the brink of a nuclear breakout.
‘The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity, and no limits at all on its other malign behavior, including its sinister activities in Syria, Yemen, and other places all around the world.
‘In other words, at the point when the United States had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States.
‘A constructive deal could easily have been struck at the time, but it wasn’t. At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program.
‘Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Last week, Israel published intelligence documents long concealed by Iran, conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.
‘The fact is this was a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made. It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.
‘In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent, while its economy is doing very badly. After the sanctions were lifted, the dictatorship used its new funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, support terrorism, and cause havoc throughout the Middle East and beyond.
‘The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime can still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time. The deal’s sunset provisions are totally unacceptable. If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.
‘Making matters worse, the deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating, and don’t even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations, including military facilities.
‘Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.
‘Finally, the deal does nothing to constrain Iran’s destabilizing activities, including its support for terrorism. Since the agreement, Iran’s bloody ambitions have grown only more brazen.
‘In light of these glaring flaws, I announced last October that the Iran deal must either be renegotiated or terminated.
‘Three months later, on January 12th, I repeated these conditions. I made clear that if the deal could not be fixed, the United States would no longer be a party to the agreement.
‘Over the past few months, we have engaged extensively with our allies and partners around the world, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We have also consulted with our friends from across the Middle East. We are unified in our understanding of the threat and in our conviction that Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon.
‘After these consultations, it is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement.
‘The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. 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.
‘Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
‘In a few moments, I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction. Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.
‘America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. 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.
‘Today’s action sends a critical message: The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them. In fact, at this very moment, Secretary Pompeo is on his way to North Korea in preparation for my upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un. Plans are being made. Relationships are building. Hopefully, a deal will happen and, with the help of China, South Korea, and Japan, a future of great prosperity and security can be achieved for everyone.
‘As we exit the Iran deal, we will be working with our allies to find a real, comprehensive, and lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear threat. This will include efforts to eliminate the threat of Iran’s ballistic missile program; to stop its terrorist activities worldwide; and to block its menacing activity across the Middle East. In the meantime, powerful sanctions will go into full effect. If the regime continues its nuclear aspirations, it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before.
‘Finally, I want to deliver a message to the long-suffering people of Iran: The people of America stand with you. It has now been almost 40 years since this dictatorship seized power and took a proud nation hostage. Most of Iran’s 80 million citizens have sadly never known an Iran that prospered in peace with its neighbors and commanded the admiration of the world.
‘But the future of Iran belongs to its people. They are the rightful heirs to a rich culture and an ancient land. And they deserve a nation that does justice to their dreams, honor to their history, and glory to God.
‘Iran’s leaders will naturally say that they refuse to negotiate a new deal; they refuse. And that’s fine. I’d probably say the same thing if I was in their position. But the fact is they are going to want to make a new and lasting deal, one that benefits all of Iran and the Iranian people. When they do, I am ready, willing, and able.
‘Great things can happen for Iran, and great things can happen for the peace and stability that we all want in the Middle East.
‘There has been enough suffering, death, and destruction. Let it end now.
‘Thank you. God bless you. Thank you.’
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