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

Council approves $24.7M budget

Five-year financial plan approved on May 14

Contest aims to turn Northwest ideas into Canadian law

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP hears pitches from Terrace residents

Two high-risk offenders arrested in police take-down

Two prolific high-risk offenders are in police custody following a vehicle take-down… Continue reading

At what point do we achieve consensus?

With the Kinder Morgan pipeline question, the word is abused on both sides

Terrace teen on life support after contracting serious viral infection

Sebastian Stewart was medically evacuated to Vancouver General Hospital on April 25

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

Cariboo business supplies security ATVs for 44th G7 Summit

Spectra Power Sports Ltd. of Williams Lake supplying security vehicles for G7 Summit

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Most Read