(JNS.org) President Donald Trump announced in a White House speech Friday that he has decertified the Iranian nuclear deal as part of a new and tougher approach towards the Islamic Republic.
“We cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said. “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout.”
While the decertification stops short of pulling out of the agreement, the move hands the decision over to Congress to decide whether to reimpose sanctions originally lifted in 2015.
Under the 2015 deal, which was negotiated along with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China, the Trump administration must certify every 90 days whether it believes Iran is in compliance with the agreement.
“In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated,” he said. “It is under continuous review and our participation can be cancelled by me, as president, at any time.”
According to Trump, the new strategy to deal with Iran will include working with allies to counter Tehran’s “destabilizing activities and support for terrorist proxies in the region,” as well as addressing the “regime’s proliferation of [ballistic] missiles and weapons that threaten its neighbors, global trade and freedom of navigation."
Trump also blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for lifting sanctions on Iran right before “what would have been the total collapse of the Iranian regime.”
“As I have said many times, the Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” the president declared.
At the same time, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been a strong critic of the deal, to update him on the contents of Trump’s strategy ahead of the speech.
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Netanyahu urged the world community to “fix or nix” the nuclear deal.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer thanked Trump for his speech, praising him for “courageously standing against the current and standing up to Iran.”
“Time to fix a bad deal and push back against Iran,” Dermer said.