President Donald Trump has confirmed the withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear accord.
Mr Trump spoke out against the arrangement as “a horrible, one-sided deal” based on a lie.
He said that if he allowed the deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race, and called Iran a “regime of great terror”.
Statement on the Iran Nuclear Deal: https://t.co/O3SpryCKkc— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2018
He said that “no action taken by the regime has been more dangerous than its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them”.
Mr Trump signed a presidential memorandum withdrawing from the 2015 agreement and said he is planning to reinstall sanctions on the Iranian regime.
He said in an address to the nation that he will be reinstating the highest level of sanctions and warned other countries not to help the Iranian government.
Mr Trump said America “will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail” and will not allow “a regime that chants ‘Death to America'” to get access to nuclear weapons.
The president said he made the decision after consulting with US allies.
Mr Trump said “great things” can happen for the Iranian people following his announcement.
He predicted that Iranians would someday “want to make a new and lasting deal” and that “when they do, I am ready, willing and able”.
He added that a new deal could lead to the “peace and stability we all want in the Middle East”.
Mr Trump was speaking from the White House when he denounced the previous Iran deal as “defective at its core”.
Despite lobbying from European allies, Mr Trump moved forward with his campaign promise to pull out of the Obama-era agreement.
The Iranians have been sharply critical of the Republican president’s plan to withdraw.
Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the number-two Democrat in the Senate, branded the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal “a mistake of historic proportions”.
He said that breaking the Iran deal increases the danger that Iran will restart its nuclear weapons programme, which threatens Israel and “destabilises the entire Middle East”.
Mr Durbin said Mr Trump’s action “isolates the United States from the world at a time when we need our allies to come together to address nuclear threats elsewhere, particularly in Korea”.