Trump Pulls U.S. Out of 'Disastrous' Iran Nuclear Deal, to Impose 'Powerful' Sanctions

U.S. president says deal should have never been made ■ Tehran 'world's leading sponsor of terror' ■ Israel opens shelters in north

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
Evan Vucci / AP

>> UPDATE: Follow for live updates on the day after Trump announced that the U.S. is pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal

President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, saying he will reinstate economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

"The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran, in exchange for very weak limits on the regime's nuclear activities," Trump said.

Trump said that the deal "should have never been made. It didn't bring peace, and it never will."

Live Updates:

4:59 A.M.: Japan says will closely watch impact of U.S. withdrawal from Iran deal (Reuters)

Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Wednesday Japan would closely monitor the impact of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the deal. Kono said Japan would continue close talks with related nations towards maintaining a deal, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

4:00 A.M.: UN secretary general 'deeply concerned' by U.S. withdrawal (DPA)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he is "deeply concerned" by the U.S. decision to reinstate sanctions on Iran.  Guterres said in a statement the deal "represents a major achievement in nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy and has contributed to regional and international peace and security." Concerns about the deal should be dealt with through its own mechanisms, and issues not directly related to it "should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments," Guterres added.

3:15 A.M.: Stoltenberg calls for 'comprehensive solution' to Iran nukes issue  (Reuters)

ATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called for a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue following Trump's announcement.
"As the U.S. withdraws from the Iran deal, we encourage all parties to work for a comprehensive political solution to move Iran further away from developing nuclear weapons," Stoltenberg said according to NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu. NATO welcomed the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015, and called on Iran to implement it in full," Lungescu said. "It is not for NATO to assess whether Iran is in compliance with the agreement."

12:46 A.M.: Trump, Macron speak, 'reaffirm their shared commitment to peace and stability in the Middle East,' White House says

12:33 A.M.: Explosions near Damascus reportedly caused by Israel bombing Iranian missiles to thwart imminent attack

Iran deal

11:51 P.M.: U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says aircraft licenses to Iran to be revoked (Reuters)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Munichin says Boeing, Airbus licenses to sell aircraft, components to Iran will be revoked. He also says Trump's objective in re-imposing sanctions is to enter into a new agreement. 

11:32 P.M.: Obama: U.S. could end up having to choose between 'nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East'

"Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East," Barack Obama writes in a statement posted on Facebook.

11:31 P.M.: Germany says will try to keep Iran nuclear deal alive despite Trump move (Reuters)

Germany will try to keep the 2015 Iran nuclear deal alive, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says. "We will try to keep alive this important agreement, which ensures the Middle East and the world as a whole are safer," Maas told broadcaster ARD. 

11:18 P.M.: Israel's defense minister thanks U.S. counterpart Mattis 

Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman has spoken with U.S. Secretary of State James Mattis to thank him for the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the deal. 

11:16 P.M.: Russian foreign ministry says disappointed by Trump's Iran decision (Reuters)

"There are no - and can be no - grounds for breaking the joint comprehensive action plan (JCPOA). The plan showed its full efficiency,"  Russia's foreign ministry says. "The United States is undermining international trust in the International Atomic Energy Agency." 

11:14 P.M.: AIPAC: 'Believe the administration's decision today provides an important opportunity'

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee says: Given the combination of a critically flawed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and the international community’s inability so far to adequately address these shortcomings, we believe the administration’s decision today provides an important opportunity to address the shortcomings of the deal and to confront Iran’s escalating regional aggression.

11:12 P.M.: New U.S. envoy warns German firms to wind down business in Iran  (Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump's new ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, warned German companies to halt activities in Iran after the U.S. leader said Washington was pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and would reimpose sanctions. 

11:09 P.M.: Trump casts himself as vigilante sheriff after quitting Iran nuclear deal: Analysis | Chemi Shalev

Trump already showed his disdain for his predecessors’ commitments when he withdrew from the Paris accords on global warming and from the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade deal. Those, however, were not matters of life and death: Read full story

11:07 P.M.: Russian Foreign ministry says Moscow open to other Iran deal participants, will continue to develop bilateral ties with Iran (Reuters)

11:05 P.M.: Syrian state news agency says Syrian air defenses fired at two Israeli missiles, destroying both: Read full story

11:01 P.M.: Trump tells world to drop dead as Netanyahu dictates his nixing of Iran deal - ANALYSIS | Anshel Pfeffer

A few minutes past two in Washington, the president of the United States adopted the “Netanyahu Doctrine” wholesale and made it official American policy: Read full story

10:59 P.M.: Kerry says announcement 'puts Israel at greater risk'

Former secretary of state John Kerry says Trump's decision "weakens our security, breaks America's word, isolates us from our European allies, puts Israel at greater risk, empowers Iran's hardliners, and reduces our global leverage to address Tehran's misbehavior, while damaging the ability of future Administrations to make international agreements."

10:55 P.M.: Explosions heard near Damascus as Israel braces for imminent Iranian attack from Syria

Explosions have been reported south of Damascus. Reports in Syria sayIsraeli jets entered the country's airspace. Read full story

10:44 P.M.: Obama slams the Trump's decision as 'misguided'

Former U.S. President Barack Obama calls Trump's decision to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal "misguided" and a "serious mistake." 

"There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the spread of nuclear weapons," Obama wrote in his statement. "Walking away from the (Iran deal) turns our backs on America's closest allies." He said that the agreement "is working - a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense."

10:32 P.M.:  Netanyahu hails Trump's 'brave decision' to quit Iran nuclear deal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump's "brave decision" to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, vowing that Israel would respond to any subsequent aggression. (Noa Landau, Jonathan Lis) Read full story

10:31 P.M.: Turkey warns of 'instability and new conflicts'

Spokesman for Turkey's Erdogan says U.S. decision to unilaterally withdraw from the deal will cause instability and new conflicts. (Reuters)

10:29 P.M.: Senator Corker believes 'the administration will move quickly to work toward' better deal

Republican Bob Corker, the head of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, said that based on recent conversations he's had with administration officials, he believes "the administration will move quickly to work toward a better deal" with Iran. Corker didn't expand on how exactly that would be done. (Amir Tibon)

10:15 P.M.: U.S. Ambassador Friedman: Trump 'was true to his word'

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman said Tuesday on Twitter that Trump "was true to his word and showed great leadership" in his decision to withdraw.

"He chose a path of strength to lever Iran to an acceptable deal and end its ever-expanding malign activity. Best approach for USA and the world." 

10:05 P.M.: Pentagon officials are concerned about signs that Iran might be preparing a military strike against Israel, CNN reports

Iran nuclear deal: Anshel Pfeffer interviews former Israeli General Amos YadlinHaaretz

Israeli military bases were preparing for a possible Iranian attack. (Amir Tibon, Yaniv Kubovich) Read full story

10:05 P.M.: British's May says in joint statement with Germany and France that 'we emphasize our continuing commitment to Iran nuclear deal'  (Reuters)

10:04 P.M.: Russia's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Polyanskiy says 'we're disappointed' by Trump's decision but not surprised (Reuters)

10:02 P.M.: Saudi Arabia says backs U.S. decision to withdraw from  deal

Saudi Arabia welcomed Trump's decision and to re-impose economic sanctions on Tehran. "Iran used economic gains from the lifting of sanctions to continue its activities to destabilize the region, particularly by developing ballistic missiles and supporting terrorist groups in the region," according to a statement carried on Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television. (Reuters)

10:02 P.M.: Bolton expected to discuss next steps with U.S. allies

Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton says to discuss next steps on Iran with British, French and German counterparts on Wednesday. (Reuters)

9:55 P.M.: Rohani says Iran will remain in nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Tuesday that Iran will remain in the nuclear deal despiteTrump's decision to withdraw, adding that Tehran is ready to resume its nuclear work after holding talks with EU members of the deal. (Reuters)

9:53 P.M.: U.S. Treasury says imposing sanctions will happen over a period of months

The process of imposing sanctions on Iran will be implemented over a period of months, and won't happen all at once.

"Sanctions will be re-imposed subject to certain 90 day and 180 day wind-down periods. At the conclusion of the wind-down periods, the applicable sanctions will come back into full effect," the department explained in a written statement.

This process is a result of how the nuclear deal with Iran was structured during its signing in 2015. Foreign companies working in Iran will be given a period of time to close their business over there. "They'll have months to phase it out," an American official said. "That's why it's called a wind-down period. It gives them time to phase it out." (Amir Tibon)

9:35 P.M.: Iran: Trump decision illegal, illegitimate

Iranian state TV says Trump decision is illegal, illegitimate and undermines international agreements. (Reuters) Read full story  

9:26 P.M.: Netanyahu welcomes U.S. withdrawal from nuclear deal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes Trump's "brave decision," to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. Speakin shortly after Trump announced his decision, Netanyahu said that the deal only made Iran more aggressive. "The deal would have allowed Iran to enrich enough uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs."

Netanyahu welcomed the decision, and called on the international community take steps in three areas: Putting a stop to "this bad deal" and prevent Iran from manufacturing an arsenal of nuclear bombs; put a stop to the flow of funds by reinstating sanctions; and block the Iranian aggression in the region – particularly in Syria.

Netanyahu said Israel will respond to any aggression.

9:13 P.M.: TRUMP PULLS U.S. OUT OF IRAN DEAL

President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, saying he will reinstate economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

"The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran, in exchange for very weak limits on the regime's nuclear activities," Trump said.

Trump said that he deal "should have never been made. It didn't bring peace, and it never will." (Amir Tibon) 

9:00 P.M.: Israel opens public shelters in north over 'unusual movement of Iranian forces' in Syria

8:50 P.M.: Majority of Americans say U.S. should not withdraw from Iran nuclear agreement 

Almost two-thirds of Americans – 63 percent – believe that the U.S. should not withdraw from the agreement made with Iran to prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

8:34 P.M.: Trump administration officials are telling members of Congress the U.S. is withdrawing from Iran nuclear accord, according to congressional aides (Reuters)

8:31 P.M.: U.S. Embassy in Israel posts security alert about traveling to Golan Heights on its official site 

"Due to the recent tensions in the region, until further notice, U.S. government employees are required to obtain advance approval if they wish to travel to the Golan Heights," U.S. Embassy in Israel states on official website.

8:14 P.M.: Macron, Merkel and May will have phone call ahead of Trump's announcement 

France's Macron will have phone call with German Chancellor Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister May around 8:30 P.M. (Israel time), sources at Macron's office say. (Reuters) 

7:55 P.M.: AP sources, Bloomberg say Trump to withdraw from landmark nuclear accord with Iran, dealing blow to U.S. allies

Explained: Renewal of sanctions on Iran would trigger a diplomatic crisis for the EU

7:47 P.M.: White House denies Trump told Macron 'Those things'

Senior White House official, referring to The New York Times story on Iran deal, says Trump did not tell France's Macron "Those things." (Reuters)

7:19 P.M.: French Presidency says Trump did not give any indication on Iran decision in phone call with Macron

In answer to a Reuters question, Macron's office denied a story by The New York Times which said Trump had told Macron the United States was going to pull out of the agreement. (Reuters)

6:39 P.M.Trump tells Macron the U.S. will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, NYT reports

U.S. President Donald Trump told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday that he will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, according to a report in the New York Times. The report also stated that Trump intends to restore all sanctions on Iran that were removed as part of the nuclear deal, and potentially impose new ones as well - a move that could give the Iranian government reason to end its own commitment to the deal. 

Macron visited Washington last month and tried to persuade Trump to keep the deal in place, but has apparently failed to achieve that goal. (Amir Tibon)

What do the new sanctions mean? Read the full explainer here

6:35 P.M. Iran's Zarif: Trump will never get a similar deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif says "If Trump gives up the nuclear agreement he will never succeed in reaching a similar agreement," Iran's Tasnim News Agency reported. (Haaretz)

5:50 P.M.: Israeli military chief cancels conference address amid Iran tensions

The Israel Defense Forces' chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot canceled his participation in the Herzliya Conference Tuesday. The military said the cancellation was due to time constraints. Eisenkot was due to speak at a closed meeting at 8 P.M.

The cancellation was made ahead of Trump's announcement on the Iran deal at 9 P.M., Israel time. (Yaniv Kubovich)

5:03 P.M.: Revolutionary Guard commander says Iran not afraid of U.S. 'military attack' 

Iran is not afraid of U.S. sanctions or attack, the Revolutionary Guard deputy commander said on Tuesday, as an announcement by Trump neared on whether to leave the deal. 

"Our nation is not afraid of U.S. sanctions or military attack. Our enemies including America, the Zionist regime and the allies in the region should know that Iran has prepared for the worst scenarios and threats," Hossein Salami was quoted as saying by Fars news agency. (Reuters)

4:40 P.M.: Iran says will not be 'passive' if Trump exits nuclear deal 

Iran will not be passive if Trump leaves the nuclear deal, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council said on Tuesday. 

"It will not be in the Americans' interests if the JCPOA (Iran's nuclear deal) collapses by their offensive... We will not be passive if the United States starts confrontation with Iran," Ali Shamkhani was quoted as saying by Fars news agency. (Reuters)

4:33 P.M.: Trump to discuss Iran with France's Macron at 10 A.M. 

A senior White House official said earlier on Tuesday that Trump planned to discuss his decision on the deal in a phone call with Macron. (Reuters)

4:32 P.M.: U.S. House Foreign Affairs chairman Royce says 'fix flaws'

Republican Ed Royce says he believes best path on Iran nuclear deal is to fix flaws, and "enforce the hell" out of it, but not withdraw.  He added that tearing up the deal would not recover cash sent to Iran's government or "galvanize" allies into addressing Iran's dangerous activities.

"I fear a withdrawal would actually set back those efforts," he said in a statement prepared for a hearing on Iran. (Reuters)

4:09 P.M.: Israel's National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat 

Shabbat says Israel briefed 22 countries on the Iranian documents obtained by Mossad. (Noa Landau)

4:05 P.M.: Netanyahu ahead of Trump decision: Israel is prepared for every scenario

"There is a broad interest that there will be no similar phenomenon [the agreement with Iran] in certain other countries," Netanyahu said before leaving Cyprus, adding "We are not looking for an escalation [with Iran], but we are preparing for every scenario. We tell the truth to the public, but that's no reason to panic." (Noa Landau)

3:57 P.M.: Iran will not accept EU demands beyond nuclear deal

Iran would not accept any demands on top of those it agreed to in its nuclear deal with world powers, a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday, hours before Trump is due to announce if he is pulling out of the accord. 

"The European signatories are trying to persuade Trump to remain in the deal, but they should know that Iran will never accept any demand beyond the deal," the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. 

"Trump should know that he is responsible for all the consequences of the deal's collapse. Iran has always been committed to its international obligations." (Reuters)

3:30 P.M.: Trump tells Kerry to 'stay away' from Iran talk

Trump says former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "can't get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it" with Iran.

Trump was reacting on Tuesday to reports that Kerry quietly has been promoting the Iran nuclear deal. Kerry was the lead negotiator on the deal for the Obama administration.

On Twitter, Trump added: "Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!"

Speaking at a conference in Italy, Kerry cautioned that a "new arms race" was taking place and endangering other weapons reduction treaties. (AP)

2:52 P.M.: Britain's May will work with allies on Iran nuclear deal

Prime Minister Theresa May will continue to work with Britain's allies to address any shortcomings in the Iran nuclear deal, but the British government believes it is important to maintain it, her spokesman said on Tuesday. 

"We'll continue working closely with the U.S. and our EU partners on how to address the range of challenges Iran poses, including those issues which a new deal might cover," the spokesman told reporters. (Reuters)

2:47 P.M.: Iranian cleric: Supreme leader predicted nuclear deal would fail

A prominent Iranian cleric said on Tuesday that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had predicted the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers would collapse, Fars news agency said. 

"We were aware right from the beginning that the JCPOA (Iran's nuclear deal) is fragile and will collapse. Now we see that the Supreme Leader had rightly predicted this," said Kazem Sedighi, one of the clerics appointed by the leader to lead Friday prayers in the capital. (Reuters)

2:38 P.M.: Jordan's foreign minister sees arms race if Iran nuclear deal ends

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi on Tuesday warned of "dangerous repercussions" and a possible arms race in the Middle East unless a political solution was found to free the region of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. 

Speaking in Germany, Al-Sadadi said he did not know what the U.S. president would do, but urged continued conversation and dialogue with Iran, despite what he called widespread concerns among Arab countries about Iran's "interventionism" in the region. 

"We all need to work together in making sure that we solve the conflicts of the region ... and strive for a Middle East that is free of all weapons of mass destruction," he told reporters after a meeting with leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-left "grand coalition" government. (Reuters)

2:35 P.M.: Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cautions 'new arms race' is underway

John Kerry, who led President Obama's efforts to broker the Iran nuclear deal, cautioned that a "new arms race" was taking place and endangering other weapons reduction treaties.

Kerry told a conference on food innovation in Milan that "dangerously, we find ourselves today with certain individuals who are talking about a new arms race," and that the money it will cost "should be going to health and going to building schools and going to building infrastructures and building the future, instead building weapons."

He said the moves were putting at risk both the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that ended the U.S.-Soviet arms race. (Associated Press)

2:07 P.M.: Iranian military chief: "No threat" frightens the Islamic Republic

Iran's military power would defuse any threat against the Islamic Republic, a senior military official said on Tuesday.

"The armed forces are delivering their best services and no threat frightens Iran," Iran's Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA. (Reuters)

1:58 P.M.: Ahead of Trump's Decision, Netanyahu Says Iran Trying to Plant 'Dangerous Arms in Syria'

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday after a joint meeting with Greece and Cyprus Heads of State, Prime Minister Netanyahu said "Iran is calling for the destruction of Israel." 

The premier asserted Iran is determined to plant dangerous arms in Syria against Israel, and that it is in everyone's interest to thwart this peril. He concluded that he believes everyone recognizes this aggression and Israel's right to defend itself. (Noa Landau) - Read the full story here

1:40 P.M.: Iran: We're ready for any scenario if Trump exits nuclear deal

Iran is ready for any scenario if U.S. President Donald Trump exits the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers in 2015, Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri said on Tuesday. 

"We are ready for any possible scenario... If the United States violates the deal, it would be naive to negotiate with this country again," Jahangiri was quoted as saying by news agency Tasnim. (Reuters)

12:49 P.M.: Kremlin cautions any U.S. withdrawal from Iran deal may have negative consequences

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that the possible withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal would have harmful consequences. 

There would be "inevitable harmful consequences to any actions towards breaking these agreements," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. (Reuters)

12:10 P.M.: The Netanyahu Doctrine: Bibi’s Fix It or Nix It Moment on Iran Is Finally Here | Analysis

After nearly a decade of trying, Netanyahu is finally about to see the U.S. administration adopt his doctrine toward Iran. But can it work? (Anshel Pfeffer) - Read the full story here

10:59 A.M.: Iran cenbank head says U.S. dropping nuclear deal would not impact economy

Iran's central bank chief said on Tuesday the country's economy would not be affected if President Donald Trump took the U.S. out of the nuclear deal agreed with world powers in 2015. 

"We are prepared for all scenarios. If America pulls out of the deal, our economy will not be impacted," Valiollah Seif said on state television. (Reuters)

10:35 A.M.: Iran lawmaker says U.S. pullout will inspire unity

Iran's parliamentary speaker says a possible U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal by President Donald Trump will lead to more unity among Iranians.

Tuesday's report by parliament's news website, icana.ir, quotes Ali Larijani as saying: "Mr. Trump: ... Rest assured that this loyalty in nuclear issue will (encourage) the great Iranian nation to continue on the path of the Islamic Revolution firmly behind the leadership of its supreme leader." (Associated Press)

>> Donald Trump is about to put Israel in immediate danger | Opinion ■ Explained: Where Israel’s leaders stand on the Iran nuclear deal ■ From Doomsday to Delay: 5 Scenarios Ahead of Trump’s Decision on the Iran Nuclear Deal | Analysis >>

10:12 A.M.: Iran president Rohani warns of 'problems' as Trump decision looms

Iran's president warned on Tuesday the country could face "some problems" ahead of President Donald Trump's decision on whether to pull out of its nuclear deal with world powers.

Without directly naming Trump, Rohani's remarks at a petroleum conference in Tehran represented the first official Iranian comment on the U.S. president's overnight tweet that he'd make an announcement on the deal Tuesday.

"It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this," Rouhani said.

Rohani also stressed Iran wants to keep "working with the world and constructive engagement with the world." That appeared to be a nod to Europe, which has struck a series of business deals with Iran since the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. (Associated Press)