President Donald Trump said in a statement Friday that Iran's government in Tehran has done little to live up its end of the 2015 nuclear deal, thus undercutting any perceived benefit of the Obama-era agreement.
The White House issued the statement hours before Trump was expected to talk more about the deal and its future. Trump was expected to decertify the deal, citing Iran’s lack of compliance with its requirements.
Trump, in the statement, mentioned no benefit of the agreement. He said Tehran focuses on exploiting loopholes and makes a habit of testing the world’s resolve. He also mentions that military leaders in the country do little to hide their plans to block International Atomic Energy Agency inspections at Iranian military sites.
Under U.S. law, Trump faces a Sunday deadline to notify Congress whether Iran is complying with the accord that was painstakingly negotiated over 18 months by the Obama administration and determine if it remains a national security priority.
Although Trump intends to say Iran is living up to the letter of the agreement, he will make the case that the deal is fatally flawed and that its non-nuclear behavior violates the spirit of the regional stability it was intended to encourage, the officials and advisers told the Associated Press.
John Kelly, Trump's chief of staff, confirmed the president would announce the results of his Iran policy review on Friday but declined to offer any details. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was calling foreign minister colleagues from the other parties to the deal to brief them on what to expect, the State Department said.
But in a possible preview of Trump's announcement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo blasted Iran during a speech at the University of Texas, calling Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Revolutionary Guard "cudgels of a despotic theocracy.”
Trump was also set to announce a new approach to dealing with Iran that focuses on neutralizing its influence in the Persian Gulf region and its support of terrorism and militants, the statement read.
Trump said in a statement that the new strategy was hatched out after months of deliberation with Congress and allies. The statement criticized the Obama administration’s approach to Tehran and blamed the former administration, at least in part, for the emergence of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The statement read that Iran has reached a “high-water mark” for its influence in the region due to the Obama administration’s “myopic focus” on its nuclear program.
“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said.
The statement, by and large, offered few details about how the U.S. would “rally the international community” to condemn the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for its gross violations of human rights and deny Iran “all paths” to a nuclear weapon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.