Even as President Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled the US out of his predecessor’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — better known as the Iran deal — because he said he believed it to be an “embarrassment” and a “failure,” his administration was preparing for the official backlash they knew would come from Tehran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the US failed to live up to its international commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran deal.
Rouhani, speaking in a live television address from Tehran, added that the agreement was not a bilateral agreement between the United States and Iran, but rather a multilateral international agreement endorsed by the UN Security Council.
The president, speaking from the White House on his decision, said that former President Barack Obama’s deal gave the Iranian regime a pathway toward a “nuclear breakout” because the deal allowed them to enrich uranium over time. Trump also indicated his belief that if he allowed the U.S. to remain in the deal, he would be propping up an eventual nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
The president also expressed his concerns that the regime had lied in their negotiations over the deal, specifically that Tehran had no intention of using the Iran deal to foster peace in the region. In pulling out of the deal, Trump also promised to begin renewing sanctions against the regime.
In other words, at the point when the United States had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States.
A constructive deal could easily have been struck at the time, but it wasn’t.
At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction: that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program.
Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Last week, Israel published intelligence documents — long concealed by Iran — conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.
The fact is, this was a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made. It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.
In a briefing following the president’s remarks, administration officials, when questioned how they might respond to Iran regarding the U.S. decision to pull out of the deal, said that a negative reaction from Iran was expected and that the president had already addressed that eventuality in his remarks.
Trump, in his remarks Tuesday, said the following in relation to Tehran’s expected response.
“Iran’s leaders will naturally say that they refuse to negotiate a new deal. They refuse, and that’s fine. I’d probably say the same thing if I was in their position,” Trump said. “But the fact is, they are going to want to make a new and lasting deal, one that benefits all of Iran and the Iranian people.”