WASHINGTON – The White House is taking a new strong stance against Iran, announcing plans Thursday night to do away with the Obama administration's controversial Iran nuclear deal.
President Trump believes Iran is not following the spirit of the accord, which he calls "one of the worst and most one sided transactions."
In the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium, preventing the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon. In exchange, sanctions against the country were rolled back.
The Trump administration says Iran still supports terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas and backs militias in Syria and Yemen. Iran has also continued to test ballistic missiles, something that concerns the United States but doesn't necessarily violate the agreement.
The Heritage Foundation says this is the right move.
"They haven't risen to the level of material breach but they do indicate an Iranian intention to get around the restrictions," said James Phillips, a senior research fellow at the organization. "For instance, trying to buy prohibited technology in Germany and ballistic missile tests which violate the U.S. Security Council Resolution that accompanied the agreement."
Earlier this week, the head of Iran's nuclear agency warned the U.S. against revoking the deal.
"I would like to make solid clear that we do not want to see the deal unravel," said Ali Akbar Salehi. "However, much more is at stake for the entire international community than the national interest of Iran where unfortunately the U.S. wishes to harm if the deal is dissolved. Needless to say that the U.S. withdrawal from the deal would seriously affect Iran's state of politics in this regard."
It's now up to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who have 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions.