Donald Trump signs off on Obama's Iran deal, which he promised to scrap

Trump has certified that Iran is complying with an international nuclear agreement, despite not wanting to

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 18, 2017 8:22AM (EDT)

 (AP/Evan Vucci)
(AP/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump has certified that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal reached under President Barack Obama, although he added in his message to Congress that Iran is also "unquestionably in default of the spirit" of the deal.

According to The New York Times, Trump actively resisted the advice of his foreign policy advisers urging him to certify Iranian compliance:

At an hourlong meeting last Wednesday, all of the president’s major security advisers recommended he preserve the Iran deal for now. Among those who spoke out were Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson; Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser; and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to an official who described internal discussions on the condition of anonymity. The official said Mr. Trump had spent 55 minutes of the meeting telling them he did not want to.

Despite ultimately ceding to the wishes of his experts on the Iranian nuclear deal, Trump is still planning on cracking down on the country.

"The secretary of state — and the president — intends to emphasize that Iran remains one of the most dangerous threats to the US and to regional security," one senior administration official told CNN. "Moving forward, the administration intends to employ a strategy that will address the totality of Iran's malign behavior and not just focus on the nuclear deal."

Trump frequently denounced the nuclear deal reached with Iran by President Barack Obama, and apparently has even insisted in private that it is a "bad deal" which needs to be renegotiated. Nevertheless, he has yet to actually torpedo the deal while president.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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