Updated 1:51 AM ET, Wed May 9, 2018
“It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement,” Trump said from the White House Diplomatic Room. “The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing we know exactly what will happen.”
In announcing his long-telegraphed decision, Trump said he would initiate new sanctions on the regime, crippling the touchstone agreement negotiated by his predecessor. Trump said any country that helps Iran obtain nuclear weapons would also be “strongly sanctioned.”
“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” the President said in remarks that, at times, misrepresented the international agreement’s provisions
. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”
Trump’s decision could have explosive consequences, straining longstanding US alliances, disrupting oil markets and boosting tensions in the Middle East, even if the US reversal doesn’t lead Iran to restart its atomic program.