President Trump’s decision to scrap the Iran nuclear deal, established under President Obama, has major implications across the globe and for the White House.
President Trump announced that he would reimpose “the highest level of economic” sanctions on Iran and pull the U.S. out of the nuclear agreement negotiated in 2015. Here’s a look at what that agreement includes and what steps the president is taking to upend it.
What is the Iran nuclear deal?
The United States and five other nations — the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany — negotiated an agreement with Iran in 2015 requiring Tehran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for reduced sanctions.
Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — or “the Iran nuclear deal” — the agreement required Iran to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium and limit its use of centrifuges to make enriched uranium.
In exchange, the U.S. and other countries agreed to lift a wide range of economic sanctions on Iran.
So what’s the problem?
Supporters of the agreement, including members of the Obama administration who negotiated it, said the deal was the best option to slow Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. Analysts believed Iran was months away from being able to build a nuclear weapon before the agreement.
“The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war,” President Barack Obama said in 2015. “Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.”
Opponents, including Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have criticized many elements of the deal. They note it does not fully eliminate Iran’s ability to enrich uranium. They point out that many of its prohibitions expire after 15 years. And they say the agreement does little to curb Iran’s influence in sectarian conflicts in the region.
Trump vowed to back out of the Iran agreement during his campaign, and as president he has called it “insane,” “ridiculous,” and “one of the worst deals I have ever witnessed.”
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