Decision on Iran coming ‘very shortly’: Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump says he will “very shortly” announce his decision on U.S. participation in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, as aides prepared for an end-ofthe-week rollout.
Trump has until Sunday to notify Congress whether Iran remains in compliance with the accord under which it limited its atomic program in exchange for sanctions relief. A congressional source and a nongovernmental source familiar with the matter said the White House was looking at a Friday announcement after scrapping a tentative plan for Thursday.
Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, Trump did not discuss specific timing but told reporters: “You’re going to see very soon. We will be announcing that very shortly.”
Officials familiar with the internal deliberations as well as informed sources outside the administration say they expect Trump to tell lawmakers that the Iran deal is not in the U.S. national security interest despite Iran’s technical compliance. However, they do not believe he will go beyond that and call for Congress to reinstate nuclear sanctions that were lifted as a result of the deal.
Instead, these officials said Trump is more inclined to throw the matter to Congress and push legislators to amend the law that requires the president to certify Iran’s compliance every 90 days. Even more than the actual deal, Trump detests the certification requirement, which forces him to sign off every three months on an accord he has called the worst deal ever negotiated by America, according to the officials.
Iran, meanwhile, warned of a tough response if Trump presses ahead with his threats to scuttle the landmark nuclear deal.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told lawmakers during a closed session of parliament that Iran “will never renegotiate” the deal brokered with the U.S. and five other world powers, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a Cabinet meeting that Trump’s speech will make clear “which is the rebellious government, and which is the side that violates international rules.”
While Iran and the other parties have said the deal is not open for renegotiation, at least one party, France, has signalled a willingness to explore additional arrangements to resolve the concerns. Iran has said it is open in principle to further discussions, particularly with Europe, but has said its missile program is non-negotiable.