nuclear deal

Washington: US President Donald Trump today pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, an Obama-era accord which he has repeatedly criticised.

“It is clear to me that we cannot prevent Iran’s nuclear bomb. The Iran deal is defective at its core. Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” Trump said.

Moments later he signed a fresh set of sanctions against Iran and warned countries against any cooperation with Iran on its nuclear weapons programme.

Ever since his election campaign, Trump has frequently criticised the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.

He had described the agreement, which was negotiated by then US secretary of state John Kerry, as a bad deal.

The Iran nuclear deal was reached in Vienna in July 2015 between Iran and the P5 plus Germany and the European Union.

The president, however, framed his decision as the fulfillment of a bedrock campaign promise and as the act of a dealmaker dissolving a fatally flawed agreement. He predicted his tough line with Iran would strengthen his hand as he prepared to meet North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, to begin negotiating the surrender of his nuclear arsenal.

Trump’s decision would have global ramifications, straining Iranian economy and heightening tensions in the Middle East.

European leaders and officials have warned Trump and his team that Tehran could set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East if it restarts its uranium enrichment program, but the US President remained unmoved as he nixed the deal that took years to negotiate. He ignored pleas from leaders of France, Germany, and Britain while junking the agreement.

Trump to wait until closer to Saturday, when the 12 May deadline for issuing a waiver is due, but he reportedly advanced the scrapping so as not to impede next week’s opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, another move that is expected to cause jitters in the Middle East.