President Donald Trump is announcing his strategy on the Iran nuclear deal Friday. According to The New York Times, Trump will disavow the deal that was negotiated by President Barack Obama, but will “stop short” of putting an end to it or completely rewriting it.
Trump’s speech starts at 12:45 p.m. Eastern on Friday from the White House. Watch a live stream of his remarks in the video at the top of the page.
The Times report says Trump will announce he won’t recertify the agreement, which would put the decision on whether to impose sanctions on Iran to Congress, essentially blowing up the deal. He will look to Congress to research “trigger points” that would allow the United States to reimpose sanctions on Iran if the nation crosses those thresholds that would be set. But Congress has been divided on the Iran deal, and new legislation would require 60 votes in the Senate, meaning it would have to have bipartisan agreement to get through. Trump’s expected to provide an overview of his strategy for Iran in his speech, saying he’s tougher on the country than Obama was. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump called the Iran agreement the “worst deal ever” and vowed to exit it.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has previously differed from Trump’s desire to withdraw from the deal and said Thursday that Congress will likely choose to do nothing with the legislation. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has previously agreed with Tillerson, arguing that it’s in the best interest of the United States to keep the deal and the the constraints on Iran.
A summary of the new policy, according to a White House statement released Thursday, says it will focus on “neutralizing the government of Iran’s destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants.”
Earlier this week, Senator Bob Corker released a blueprint that would impose a return of sanctions if Iran is believed to be able to produce a nuclear weapon in a year or if it violates restrictions. He’s been critical of the Iran deal since it was made and has pushed for further sanctions on the nation in the past. In tweets Sunday, Trump accused Corker of being “largely responsible for the horrendous Iran deal.”
Prior to Trump’s speech, Corker unveiled legislation designed to address flaws in the current IRan nuclear deal.