President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump pulls U.S. out of ‘horrible’ Iran nuclear accord

Germany, France and Britain express regret and say they will try to salvage agreement

President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the landmark nuclear accord with Iran Tuesday, declaring he was making the world safer in restoring harsh sanctions.

But he also dealt a profound blow to allies, deepened his isolation on the world stage and revived doubts about American credibility in the most consequential foreign policy action of his presidency.

The leaders of Germany, France and Britain, co-signers of the agreement, expressed regret and said they would try to salvage the accord with Iran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he was sending his foreign minister to work with those remaining countries but warned there was only a short time to negotiate with them and his country could soon “start enriching uranium more than before.”

The 2015 accord, which lifted major economic sanctions against Iran, was specifically aimed at preventing that result. But Trump said, “The Iran deal is defective at its core.”

“If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons,” Trump said in a televised address from the White House.

He said the United States “will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction.”

READ MORE: Issues split Trump and Macron, handshakes and kisses aside

Trump’s decision means Iran’s government must now decide whether to follow the U.S. and withdraw or try to salvage what’s left of the deal. The leaders of Britain, Germany and France immediately urged the U.S. not to take any actions that could prevent them and Iran from continuing to implement the agreement. The statement from Prime Minister Theresa May, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron also urged Iran to “show restraint” and continue fulfilling its own obligations such as co-operating with inspections.

In Washington, the Trump administration said it would re-impose sanctions on Iran immediately but allow grace periods for businesses to wind down activity.

The Treasury Department said there would be “certain 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods” but didn’t specify which sanctions would fall under which timelines. Treasury said that at the end of those periods, the sanctions will be in “full effect.”

National Security Adviser John Bolton said nobody should sign contracts for new business with Iran.

If the deal collapses entirely, Iran would be free to resume prohibited enrichment activities. Meanwhile, businesses and banks doing business with Iran will have to scramble to extricate themselves or run afoul of the U.S.

For nations contemplating striking their own sensitive deals with Trump, such as North Korea, the withdrawal will increase suspicions that they cannot expect lasting U.S. fidelity to international agreements it signs. Yet nations like Israel and Saudi Arabia that loathed the deal are likely to see it as a sign the United States is returning to a more skeptical, less trusting approach to dealing with adversaries.

Former President Barack Obama, whose administration negotiated the deal, called the Trump decision “misguided.” He added that “the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.”

Trump, who repeatedly criticized the accord during his presidential campaign, said Tuesday that documents recently released by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed Iran had attempted to develop a nuclear bomb in the previous decade, especially before 2003. Although Trump gave no explicit evidence that Iran violated the deal, he said Iran had clearly lied in the past and could not be trusted.

Iran has denied ever pursuing nuclear arms.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna residents to honour the dead with walk of memories

The walk will honour each phase of life

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 800 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

B.C. Interior flood risk diminishing

Snowmelt receding but rainfall impact remains a concern

Driver flees scene after colliding with pedestrian

Kelowna RCMP continue their investigation after a driver allegedly failed to remain at the scene

Plea to help find missing dog in Kelowna

Willow has been missing since Sunday near Dee Lake Resort

It’s official: Basran to seek second term as Kelowna’s mayor

Colin Basran said despite the success of first four years, there more to be done

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Study looking at declining mule deer population

Southern Interior mule deer project tracking deer movement and health

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

Most Read