Trump tasks Congress with deciding on whether the U.S. should remain in the treaty
(NBC News) -
President Trump has announced a much more confrontational approach to dealing with Iran's growing nuclear program.
The president is decertifying a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran, in defiance of near-worldwide support for the agreement.
"Iran is not living up to the spirit of the deal," Mr. Trump said in announcing his plan.
While not ready to withdraw from the agreement fully, the president threatened to do so.
"We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakout," President Trump said.
The president has given the U.S. Treasury Department the go-ahead to impose new economic sanctions against supporters of the Iranian military.
He also directed Congress to approve tougher actions against Iran, but leading Democrats say the presidents move will isolate the United States.
"President Trump's refusal to recertify is a grave mistake that threatens America's security and our credibility," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Some in the president's inner circle also cautioned against this move, and other experts warn of international repercussions.
"Our allies are going to hate it," retired U.S Admiral and NBC News National Security Analyst James Stavridis. "Even our opponents are going to hate it. How often do you find an issue upon which Vladmir Putin and Teresa May find themselves in agreement?"