President Trump ‘nukes’ Iran deal: Full text

Special to WorldTribune , May 8, 2018

My fellow Americans, today I want to update the world on our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias, such as Hizbullah, Hamas, the Taliban, and Al Qaida.

Over the years, Iran and its proxies have bombed American embassies and military installations, murdered hundreds of American service members, and kidnapped, imprisoned, and tortured American citizens. The Iranian regime has funded its long reign of chaos and terror by plundering the wealth of its own people.

President Donald Trump holds signed Presidential Memorandum after delivering a statement on the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, 2018. / Evan Vucci / AP

No action taken by the regime has been more dangerous than its pursuit of nuclear weapons. And the means of delivering them. In 2015, the previous administration entered into a deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program, the deal was called the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action].

In theory, the so-called Iran deal was supposed to protect the United States and our allies from the lunacy of an Iranian nuclear bomb that would only ensure the survival of the Iranian regime. In fact the — and over time reach the brink of a nuclear breakout. The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions, on Iran, in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity and no limits at all on its other malign behavior, including its sinister activities in Syria, Yemen, and other places all around the world.

In other words, at the point when the United States had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime, and it’s a regime of great terror, many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash, a great embarrassment to me as a citizen, and to all citizens of the United States. A constructive deal could have easily been struck at the time. But it wasn’t.

At the heart of the Iran deal is a fiction, that Iran only desired a peaceful nuclear energy program. Today we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Last week Israel published intelligence documents, long concealed by Iran, conclusively showing the Iranians’ regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.

The fact is, this was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made. It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will. In the year since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent, while its economy is doing very badly. After the sanctions were lifted, the dictatorship used its new funds to build nuclear capable missiles, support terrorism, and cause havoc throughout the Middle East and beyond.

The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime can still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time. The deal’s sunset provisions are totally unacceptable. If I allow this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.

Making matters worse, the deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating and don’t even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations including military facilities. Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.

Finally, the deal does nothing to constrain Iran’s destabilizing activities including its support for terrorism. Since the agreement, Iran’s bloody ambitions have grown only more brazen. In light of these glaring flaws, I announced last October that the Iran deal must either be renegotiated or terminated.

Three months later, on Jan. 12, I repeated these conditions. I made clear that if the deal could not be fixed, the United States would no longer be a party to the agreement. In the last few months, we have engaged in talks with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We have also consulted with our friends in the Middle East.

We are unified in our understanding of the threat and our conviction that Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon. After these consultations, it is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement. The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.

Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. In a few moments, I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. We will be instituting at the highest level of economic sanction, any country that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.

We will be instituting at the highest level of economic sanction, any country that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States. America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. Will now allow American cities to be subject to destruction. And we will not allow Iran to gain access to the most deadly weapons on earth.

Today’s action sends a critical message, the United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them. In fact, at this very moment, secretary Pompeo is on his way to North Korea, in preparation for my upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un. Plans are being made, relationships are strengthening and what will happen between South Korea, North Korea, and Japan, a future of great prosperity for all.

We will find a real, comprehensive, and lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear threat. This will include efforts to eliminate the threat of Iran’s ballistic missile program, to stop its terrorist activities worldwide, and to block its menacing activity across the Middle East. In the meantime, powerful sanctions will go into full effect. If the regime continues its nuclear aspirations, it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before.

Finally I want to deliver a message to the long suffering people of Iran. The people of America stand with you. It has now been almost 40 years since this dictatorship seized power and took a proud nation hostage. Most of Iran’s 80 million citizens have sadly never known an Iran that prospered in peace with its neighbors and commanded the admiration of the world. But the future of Iran belongs to its people. They are the rightful heirs to a rich culture and an ancient land, and they deserve a nation that does justice to their dreams, honor to their history, and glory to God.

Iran’s leaders will naturally say that they refuse to negotiate a new deal, they refuse and that’s fine. I would probably say the same thing if I was in their position. But the fact is, they are going to want to make a new and lasting deal, one that benefits all of Iran and the Iranian people. When they do, I am ready, willing and able. Great things can happen for Iran and great things can happen for the peace and stability that we all want in the Middle East.

There has been enough suffering, death, and destruction, let it end now. Thank you, God bless you. Thank you.

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