President Donald Trump is once again extending the Iran nuclear deal, but Trump will “terminate” the agreement unless Congress and European allies agree to strengthen it, Trump said in a statement Friday.
“This is a last chance,” Trump said. “[E]ither fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.”
The decision is a temporary victory for Trump’s national security team, which has spent months trying to persuade a president who despises the nuclear deal that abandoning it would be a self-inflicted foreign policy calamity.
The statement implicitly sets a mid-May deadline for the deal’s fate. That is when Trump must again choose, as he did Friday, whether to waive economic sanctions on Tehran which come up for renewal every 120 days.
The Obama administration suspended those sanctions were suspended in July of 2015 as part of the agreement negotiated with Iran and five other nations that imposed limits on Iran’s nuclear program, which experts said had neared nuclear weapons capability.
Facing a separate deadline that appears every 90 days, Trump declined — as he first did in mid-October — to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, despite the conclusion of international inspectors to the contrary.