Trump teases Iran nuclear deal announcement

President Donald Trump will announce his decision on whether the US will pull out of the Iran nuclear accord at 2 p.m...

Posted: May 8, 2018 11:34 AM
Updated: May 8, 2018 11:34 AM

President Donald Trump will announce his decision on whether the US will pull out of the Iran nuclear accord at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, he wrote in a tweet.

"I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House," he wrote Monday afternoon.

Trump is weighing whether to continue waiving sanctions on Iran's energy and banking sector that were lifted as part of the 2015 agreement in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

The President is widely expected to decide against extending the sanctions waivers, and in doing so, effectively leave the nuclear deal. Trump excoriated the agreement, even before winning the White House, as the "worst deal ever" and promised to tear it up on his first day in office.

One European diplomat said it seems fairly clear that the administration will walk away from the deal, and described the chances that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known, will continue intact as "very small."

"It's pretty obvious to me that unless something changes in the next few days, I believe the President will not waive the sanctions," the diplomat told CNN. "And that will have various consequences that I think we have yet fully to understand and spell out."

The implications of a US departure from the agreement aren't clear yet, but analysts have warned that it would send a message to other nations -- particularly North Korea -- about the reliability of the US as a negotiating partner.

Other analysts have pointed to the potential for a Middle East arms race if Iran also leaves the deal and re-starts its nuclear program and say it will be even harder to confront Iran's regional activity if it does so. A decision to leave the deal also raises questions about the fate of at least four Americans held in Iran and the leverage Washington will have to help them.

Trump's supporters argue that leaving the pact is necessary in order to confront Iran's disruptive behavior in the region, including its support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, for the regime in Syria and for Hezbollah.

"If the President decides to leave the deal, it's hardly the end of the world -- or even bad," said Jim Phillips, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "Instead, it should be seen as a necessary step to confront one of the deadliest threats Americans, Israelis, and Gulf Arabs face."

Despite Trump's hostility toward the agreement, a signature achievement of the Obama administration, the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly found that Iran is complying with its terms, and Europe, Russia and China have continued to support the deal.

Trump has raged that the agreement doesn't address Iran's ballistic missile program and its activities in the region and that certain parts of the agreement "sunset" after a few years.

European allies -- including the United Kingdom, France and Germany -- have encouraged Trump to remain part of the deal while acknowledging the agreement's flaws. US negotiators had been working with European counterparts to develop an ancillary agreement that would address Tehran's missile program and its support for radical groups in the Mideast.

'Iran will not renegotiate'

The European diplomat said the administration's intent seems to be to renegotiate a second deal on Iran's nuclear program while also working on agreements on missiles and "Iran's malign activity in the Middle East."

Iran's foreign minister has said Iran won't renegotiate. "Iran will not renegotiate what was agreed to years ago and has been implemented," Javad Zarif said in a video posted to YouTube on Thursday. "We will neither outsource our security nor will we renegotiate or add on to a deal we have already implemented in good faith."

French President Emmanuel Macron issued his own warning Sunday, telling German magazine Der Spiegel that if the US leaves the deal, "we would open the Pandora's box. There could be war." He added, "I don't think that Donald Trump wants war."

Macron has been one of a series of high-profile visitors to come to Washington in the last few weeks to argue for remaining in the deal and to outline the costs of leaving.

The French president and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made back-to-back visits in April, while British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson spent Monday in Washington making media appearances and meeting with administration officials in an attempt to make a case for the deal.

Appearing on one of the President's favorite TV programs, Fox & Friends, Johnson asked rhetorically what the US plan would be if Trump decides to opt out. Many in Washington wonder about the possibility of a military strike against Tehran - particularly with the recent appointment of National Security Advisor John Bolton, a hawk on Iran.

"Are we seriously saying that we will bomb those facilities ... is that really a realistic possibility?" Johnson asked.

Johnson also warned in the interview about the consequences of scrapping the deal negotiated by the US, UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and the EU. It offered Iran nuclear-related sanctions relief in exchange for strict curbs on its nuclear program, which could no longer apply if Iran decides to leave the deal as well.

"If they do get a nuclear weapon, you're going to get an arms race in the Middle East," Johnson said. "You're going to have the Saudis wanting one, the Egyptians wanting one, the Emiratis. It's already a very, very dangerous state at the moment, we don't want to go down that road. There doesn't seem to me at the moment to be a viable military solution."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17741191
Hinds16891332
Harrison14279204
Rankin11239220
Jackson10917190
Lee9071145
Madison8599169
Jones6731118
Forrest6208124
Lauderdale6121192
Lowndes5544120
Lafayette520598
Lamar505865
Washington4933125
Bolivar4126109
Oktibbeha408382
Panola386981
Pontotoc377460
Monroe3686110
Warren3685103
Marshall357170
Union356864
Pearl River3495106
Neshoba3490154
Leflore3118109
Lincoln306788
Hancock294262
Sunflower291975
Tate280662
Alcorn273154
Pike270181
Itawamba269363
Scott260048
Yazoo256756
Prentiss253754
Coahoma249755
Copiah249749
Tippah249750
Simpson242872
Leake238167
Marion224273
Grenada223972
Covington221073
Adams215171
Wayne213734
Winston207671
George204739
Newton199946
Attala197064
Tishomingo194961
Chickasaw189344
Jasper181138
Holmes172068
Clay166837
Tallahatchie157235
Stone152525
Clarke148162
Calhoun141322
Smith130026
Yalobusha123335
Walthall114537
Greene113729
Noxubee113026
Montgomery112036
Carroll106822
Lawrence106817
Perry105131
Amite102126
Webster96824
Tunica89021
Claiborne88825
Jefferson Davis88430
Benton85823
Humphreys84724
Kemper80920
Quitman7139
Franklin70617
Choctaw63713
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45217
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 441170

Reported Deaths: 6660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson646811007
Mobile31620572
Madison28310217
Tuscaloosa21525275
Montgomery19954332
Shelby19335132
Baldwin17256189
Lee13205107
Morgan12639142
Etowah12107181
Calhoun11521206
Marshall10471123
Houston9009164
Limestone834981
Cullman8274124
Elmore8214110
DeKalb7894107
Lauderdale7871107
St. Clair7854130
Talladega6481112
Walker6036183
Jackson601545
Colbert549994
Blount547386
Autauga537662
Coffee462464
Dale410785
Franklin374950
Russell357515
Chilton345473
Covington339680
Escambia335444
Tallapoosa3149109
Dallas313296
Chambers304270
Clarke300236
Pike262531
Lawrence254155
Marion253761
Winston233642
Bibb222348
Geneva211547
Marengo209331
Pickens199631
Hale185244
Barbour182738
Fayette178629
Butler174460
Cherokee165731
Henry159925
Monroe152421
Randolph146436
Washington142327
Clay130546
Crenshaw124045
Macon122337
Cleburne121825
Lamar120222
Lowndes115536
Wilcox107922
Bullock103528
Perry100018
Conecuh97922
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63618
Choctaw51924
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Mostly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 74°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 72°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 73°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather