Trump at UN: Iran deal is an embarrassment to the US
President calls out 'reckless regime' in address to General Assembly
President Donald Trump could reveal his plans to “decertify” the controversial Iranian nuclear deal as early as next week.
The Washington Post reported that Trump will decertify the agreement and argue that it’s not in the best interest of the U.S. However, an administration source told Fox News that a decision on the deal was “not fully baked” yet.
Trump has until Oct. 15 to inform Congress if the administration believes that Iran is fully complying with the deal. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said earlier this week that he will give Trump “a couple of options of how to move forward to advance the important policy toward Iran.”
During his inaugural address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month, Trump lambasted “rogue regimes” of Iran, North Korea and Syria. Trump took aim at the Obama administration’s nuclear arms deal with Iran.
“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” Trump said. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”
The nuclear deal with Iran has long been a point of contention, especially among Republicans who opposed it. Read on for a look at what the deal is, and what Trump has said he would do about it.
What is the Iran nuclear deal?
The Iran nuclear deal framework – officially the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" – was a historic agreement reached by Iran and several world powers, including the U.S., in 2015, under Barack Obama’s presidency.
In part, the deal was made to reduce Iran’s ability to produce two components used in making nuclear weapons, plutonium and uranium. In return, crippling economic sanctions on Iran were to be abated.
"Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off," Obama said at the time. "This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification."
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A point of contention for many opponents is the deal's so-called “sunset clause” which would ease some of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program over time.
The deal was reached after two years of negotiations.
Certification that Iran is complying with the deal must be sent to Congress every 90 days. The first under the Trump administration noted that Tehran was in compliance.
What has Trump said about it?
Ahead of Trump’s public criticism at the U.N. General Assembly, his administration slapped more than a dozen sanctions on Iranian individuals and groups in July for aiding its non-nuclear weapons program.
Members of the Iranian delegation listen as President Donald Trump speaks during the United Nations General Assembly in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
The sanctions froze assets in the U.S. and prevented Americans from doing business with these 18 parties.
During the presidential campaign, Trump accused Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then his opponent, for making Iran a “world power” under the nuclear deal, which he called “the highest level of incompetence.”
“If you take a look at Iran from four, five years ago, they were dying,” Trump said during an event in Virginia Beach, Va., in September 2016. “They had sanctions, they were being choked to death and they were dying. They weren’t even going to be much of a threat.”
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On Twitter, Trump has referred to the agreement as “a direct national security threat,” a “catastrophe that must be stopped,” the “dumbest & most dangerous misjudgments ever entered into in history of our country” and “the best deal of any kind in history” for Iran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that the U.S. would pay a “high cost” if it backs out of the agreement.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.