WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled the United States out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, raising the risk of conflict in the Middle East, upsetting European allies and casting uncertainty over global oil supplies.
Trump said in a televised address from the White House that he would reimpose U.S. economic sanctions on Iran to undermine
“a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”
The 2015 agreement, worked out by the United States, five other world powers and Iran, lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program. The pact was designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.
But Trump complained that the accord, the signature foreign policy achievement of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, did not address Iran’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 or its role in conflicts in Yemen and Syria.
Trump’s decision intensifies the strain on the trans-Atlantic alliance since he took office 16 months ago. One by one, European leaders came to Washington and tried to meet his demands, while pleading with him to preserve the deal.
By the middle of last week, however, it was becoming increasingly clear to some diplomats that Trump would not be moved. “We felt like we were going through the motions,” said a person close to the negotiations.
Even Trump’s top aides had not been seeking aggressively to talk Trump out of withdrawing because his mind had been made up, a White House official said.