WASHINGTON D.C.: President Donald Trump is likely to take a major step against the international nuclear deal with Iran on Friday, laying out a more aggressive approach to Iranian activities in the Middle East that risks upsetting U.S. relations with European allies.
“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said in a White House statement that flagged key elements of the strategy.
He is to present his plan in a 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT) speech at the White House, the product of weeks of internal discussions between him and his national security team.
U.S. officials said Trump was expected to announce that he will not certify the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers, one he has called the “worst deal ever” as it was not, in his view, in the U.S. national interest.
Trump found himself under immense pressure as he considered de-certifying the deal, a move that would ignore warnings from inside and outside his administration that to do so would risk undermining U.S. credibility abroad.
He had formally reaffirmed it twice before but aides said he was reluctant to do so a third time.
De-certification would not pull the United States out of the deal but would give the Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Tehran that were suspended under the pact, negotiated during the administration of President Barack Obama.
Michael McCaul, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, told Reuters he thinks Trump “is likely to not completely pull out of the deal, but decertify compliance.”
If Washington quits the deal, that will be the end of it and global chaos could ensue, Iran’s influential parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, was quoted by the Russian news agency TASS as saying during a visit to St Petersburg on Friday.