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

Replacement value of RDN assets listed at $382M

Regional district completes first asset management review

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

Wires left dangling after van crashes into hydro pole in Dashwood

Road closed while BC Hydro crews dealt with situation

Police go on hunt for distracted drivers in Parksville Qualicum Beach

One motorist ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt and using a cellphone while driving

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Trudeau to campaign in Nanaimo on Monday

Prime minister to support Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate Michelle Corfield

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Most Read