U.S. President Donald Trump will announce on Tuesday whether he will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal or stay in and work with European allies who say it has successfully halted Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Trump has consistently threatened to pull out of the 2015 agreement because it does not address Iran’s ballistic missile program or its role in wars in Syria and Yemen, and does not permanently prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.
|Trump to announce decision on Iran nuclear deal; European allies on edge.
A senior U.S. official close to the process said France, Germany and Britain had moved significantly to address Trump’s concerns over the ballistic missile program, the terms under which international inspectors visit suspect Iranian sites, and “sunset” clauses under which some terms of the deal expire.
But it was not clear whether those last-ditch efforts had made enough progress to persuade Trump to stay in the pact.
“The big question in my mind is does he think the Europeans have moved far enough so that we can all be unified and announce a deal?” the official told Reuters.
European leaders have warned that a U.S. withdrawal would undo years of work that led to and sustained a landmark deal that has kept nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands.
Trump, in a tweet on Monday, said he would make the announcement at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Tuesday.
The Iran deal, negotiated during the administration of Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, eased economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program.
But Trump has called it the “worst deal ever negotiated” and he wants Britain, France and Germany - which also signed the pact along with Russia and China - to toughen up the terms.
In the past few weeks, the Republican president has consulted either in person or by telephone with leaders of all three countries.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made the rounds in Washington on Monday, including talks with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.Reuters