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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: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 789054

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1115991765
Mobile708511234
Madison49865633
Shelby36274315
Baldwin36242495
Tuscaloosa33931548
Montgomery33190678
Lee22680220
Calhoun21211410
Morgan19816335
Etowah19300462
Marshall17680274
Houston16823386
St. Clair15442305
Cullman14602258
Limestone14581188
Elmore14480264
Lauderdale13520281
Talladega12958236
DeKalb12199237
Walker10588330
Blount9720157
Autauga9667137
Jackson9385158
Coffee8882175
Dale8609173
Colbert8534184
Tallapoosa6673181
Escambia6591121
Covington6452167
Chilton6385144
Russell607255
Franklin5795101
Chambers5416134
Marion4800120
Dallas4705189
Clarke463279
Pike462397
Geneva4413117
Winston425895
Lawrence4117108
Bibb409381
Barbour347270
Marengo326285
Monroe320053
Butler318290
Randolph305956
Pickens305274
Henry301858
Hale292685
Cherokee289855
Fayette279673
Washington245448
Crenshaw238470
Cleburne235851
Clay228565
Macon220158
Lamar197743
Conecuh182046
Lowndes170758
Coosa170235
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136537
Sumter124536
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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