US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has announced he has pulled America out of the “horrible, one-sided” Iran nuclear deal as well as lay into the Iranian regime in a series of tweets.
Speaking in the White House, the US President claimed Iran has continued to develop its nuke programme branding the agreement “disastrous” – here’s what you need to know.
Why has Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal?
Prior to his definitive announcement, Trump repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the deal, calling it “ridiculous” as well as “insane”.
Reports had emerged citing people who are familiar with the decision say he told French President Emmanuel Macron his plans to withdraw from the historic deal.
While he has made no secret of his dislike of the deal he has also said he was willing to work to improve the arrangement.
He has particularly objected the accord’s sunset clause, which allows Iran to resume part of its nuclear programme after 2025.
Speaking at a press conference in Washington yesterday to announce his decision, he said: “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 blackout.”
“Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie.”
The Republican, who called the agreement “rotting and decaying”, said he would impose the “highest level” of economic sanctions on Iran.
He said: “The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them.”
On April 30, Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the Iranians had kept their files on nuclear development.
A daredevil mission by Mossad in Tehran revealed a cache of documents that appeared to show Iran had been dishonest about its nuclear ambitions.
“Iran lied, big time,” said Netanyahu in a presentation which was believed to be aimed at putting pressure on Trump to pull out of the deal.
What has Donald Trump tweeted about Iran?
On July 22, Trump has warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani he will face dire consequences for threatening the United States.
Trump tweeted about the dangers to Iran of making hostile threats after Rouhani made inflammatory comment.
The Iranian president had said: “America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
Tweeting in capital letters, furious Trump responded by saying: “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
Within hours, Iranian state-owned news agency IRNA dismissed Trump’s tweet, describing it as a “passive reaction” to Rouhani’s remarks.
The agency, a government mouthpiece, also said rump’s comment was only mimicking and copying Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who had in the past warned the West to “never threaten an Iranian”.
What happens now?
While it’s unclear exactly what happens next, the US pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was brokered by seven parties and signed in 2015, places everyone in uncharted territory.
Under the terms of the deal, the US has issued waivers to longstanding sanctions imposed long before Trump came to office that have sought to punish Iran for its nuclear programme.
Iran, in turn, restricted its programme and allowed more international inspections.
In response to Trump’s announcement, Iran said it is preparing to restart enriching uranium at “industrial levels”.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hit back in a defiant press conference in Tehran.
He told reporters: “I have ordered Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran to be ready to start the enrichment of uranium at industrial levels.
“We will wait a few weeks and speak with our allies and friends and those committed to JCPOA.
“All depends on our national interests.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a televised address after Trump’s announcement, lauding the US President’s uncompromising stance on Iran and alluding to the tensions over Syria.
He said: “For months now, Iran has been transferring lethal weaponry to its forces in Syria, with the purpose of striking at Israel.
“We will respond mightily to any attack on our territory.”
Moments after Trump’s speech, Israel bombed a Syrian military base killing nine people after fearing an attack from Iranian-backed forces.
Former President Barack Obama has called the withdrawal “misguided” and warned it “risks eroding America’s credibility.”
On May 10, it emerged Israel’s military had attacked Iranian targets in Syria in response to approximately 20 rockets that were fired at Israeli targets in Golan Heights, allegedly by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, in one of the biggest attacks against Israel from Syria in decades, according to the BBC.
Israel said weapons storage, logistics sites and intelligence centres were among its targets.
What has Boris Johnson said?
The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appealed to Trump not to tear up the Iran deal while in the US at the beginning of May 2018.
Appearing on Fox & Friends, Johnson urged the president not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”.
He said: “The president is right to see flaws in [the deal] and he set a very reasonable challenge to the world.
“He said: ‘Look, Iran is behaving badly, has a tendency to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles. We’ve got to stop that. We’ve got to push back on what Iran is doing in the region. We’ve got to be tougher.’”
While in Washington, Mr Johnson met Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but he did not get to see the president.
In response to the withdrawal, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister held a joint telephone call with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this evening, where they discussed the US President’s announcement and agreed their continuing commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”
In the joint statement, Britain, France and Germany expressed “regret and concern” over Trump’s decision and urged the US to keep the structures of the agreement “intact.”
What was said in the phone call between Trump and May?
Downing Street has confirmed that Theresa May and Trump have discussed the impact of the US pulling out of the Iran deal in a telephone conversation.
A spokesman said: “The Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s position on the Iran nuclear deal, noting that we and our European partners remain firmly committed to ensuring the deal is upheld as the best way of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
“The Prime Minister raised the potential impact of US sanctions on those firms which are currently conducting business in Iran.
“They agreed for talks to take place between our teams.”
They added: “The Prime Minister began by congratulating the President on the safe return of three US citizens who had been held in prison in North Korea.
“The two leaders looked forward to the summit which will take place between President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
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“The PM said the UK would continue to work with the US to keep up the pressure on North Korea to denuclearise.
“The Prime Minister and the President condemned the Iranian rocket attacks against Israeli forces earlier this week and strongly supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Iranian aggression.
“They agreed on the need for calm on all sides and on the importance of tackling Iran’s destabilising activity in the region.
“The Prime Minister and the President looked forward to the President’s visit to the UK in July.”
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