President Trump announced Friday that the Iran nuclear deal is no longer in the national security interest of the United States, but did not withdraw from the Obama-era pact.
“I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said during a speech at the White House.
“We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout.”
Explaining his decision to not certify the deal, Trump said Iran has “committed multiple violations of the agreement,” and added that it was not “living up to the spirit of the deal.”
The president listed several problems with the deal and laid out a blueprint for a tougher stance on the deal and “the rogue regime” in regards to several “hostile actions” that are not related to the nuclear deal.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly called the deal “one of the worst” deals the United States has ever made, and promisedto “rip up” the deal. However, Trump did not withdraw from the deal.
Friday’s announcement comes before a Sunday deadline when Trump would have to choose whether to certify that Iran was still in compliance with the deal and if it is still in the United States’ national security interest.
While the president did not call for Congress to pass new sanctions on Iran for its nuclear activities, which would withdraw the U.S. from the deal, he called on lawmakers to pass new benchmarks for Iran to meet to prevent new sanctions.