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Iran nuclear deal: Trump pulls US out

President Trump in the White House, announcing he will withdraw the US from the nuclear deal with IranImage copyright
AFP/ Getty Images

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Mr Trump has been highly critical of the 2015 agreement throughout his campaign and presidency

US President Donald Trump says he will withdraw the US from an Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran.

Calling it “decaying and rotten”, he said the deal was “an embarrassment” to him “as a citizen”.

He said he would reimpose economic sanctions that were waived when the deal was signed in 2015.

The move goes against advice from his European allies and some military advisers.

In a statement, France, Germany and the UK – who are also signatories to the deal – have said they “regret” the American decision.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said the EU was “determined to preserve” the deal.

But Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he “fully supports” Mr Trump’s “bold” withdrawal from a “disastrous” deal.

And the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the president had “absolutely made the right decision”.

“This was a terrible deal that only allowed Iran’s bad international conduct to worsen,” she said.

Mr Trump had previously complained that the deal only limited Iran’s nuclear activities for a fixed period; had failed to stop the development of ballistic missiles; and had handed Iran a $100bn (£74bn) windfall that it used “as a slush fund for weapons, terror, and oppression” across the Middle East.

What was agreed under the deal?

The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) saw Iran agree to limit the size of its stockpile of enriched uranium – which is used to make reactor fuel, but also nuclear weapons – for 15 years and the number of centrifuges installed to enrich uranium for 10 years.

Iran also agreed to modify a heavy water facility so it could not produce plutonium suitable for a bomb.

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Getty Images

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Iran limited its sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief

In return, sanctions imposed by the UN, US and EU that had crippled Iran’s economy were lifted.

The deal was agreed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, UK, France, China and Russia – plus Germany.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran nuclear deal: Trump pulls US out

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