On Friday morning, President Donald Trump announced that he would not recertify the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, one of the foremost foreign policy achievements under the Obama administration, in a blow that had been a long-time coming.
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Though widely criticized by the other world powers who were a part of the deal, Trump’s decision has been praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who once denounced the deal as a “historic mistake.”
“Since the Iran deal was signed, Iran has been like a tiger unleashed from its cage,” Netanyahu told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “It’s not joining the community of nations, it’s devouring nations left and right. Refusing to go along with a bad deal is a good thing, an important thing, even a historic thing that’s certainly important for world peace.”
The deal, long a point of contention, was made to prevent Iran from producing two components used to make nuclear weapons: plutonium and uranium. In exchange, crippling economic sanctions against Iran were reduced.
During the White House press conference, the president said Tehran was not “living up to the spirit” of the agreement, and suggested they might be working with North Korea on its weapons program, a so far unsubstantiated report.
But, the future of the deal ultimately remains to be seen: Trump kicked the issue back to Congress, which now has 60 days to determine its fate. Trump also warned that he could still cancel the deal. On Sunday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the U.S. would remain in the international deal for the time being.
Netanyahu said either option -- fixing the agreement or leaving it -- is an important step in stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“The goal is to prevent Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “And you can achieve it either by fixing this bad deal, or by nixing it. I don’t particularly care which one, but it’s the result that we want to have.”