Trump decision on Iran deal coming Tuesday


WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump said he would announce his decision on whether and how to stay in the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday.

“I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00 pm,” Trump said Monday afternoon on Twitter.

Trump has signaled that he would like to exit the deal, which trades sanctions relief for a rollback in Iran’s nuclear program. He has called the 2015 pact between Iran and six major powers, including the United States, the “worst deal ever.” Among its major flaws, according to the president, are the omission of restraints on Iran’s missile program and its “sunset clauses,” which will allow Iran to resume some fissile material enrichment within a decade.

Looming is Saturday’s deadline for Trump to waive sanctions, according to the provisions of the deal. He has come under intense pressure from allies on both sides.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants Trump to “fix it or nix it” — walk away from the agreement or reopen it for negotiations. Trump’s closest European ally, French President Emmanuel Macron, visited Washington, D.C., last month and made the case to Trump and Congress that it should preserve the deal.

Netanyahu released what he said was recent intelligence suggesting that Iran was far more advanced toward developing a nuclear weapon than it had let on in 2015, when the deal was concluded. Macron has urged Trump to increase pressure on Iran through non-nuclear sanctions and diplomatic means.

In recent months, a number of longtime deal skeptics have urged Trump to stick to the agreement while pressing U.S. allies to amend it.

Iran and other parties to the deal have said they will continue to observe its provisions if Trump withdraws, but it is unclear how practical that would be with the resumption of U.S. sanctions on entities that deal with Iran.

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