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Trump Throws Iran Nuclear Deal To Congress

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U.S. President Donald Trump has declined to certify the Iran nuclear agreement, asserting that it is up to the GOP-majority Congress to decide whether the deal will continue. The European Union has blasted Trump's call to have the international agreement revised or discontinued.

On Oct. 13, Trump announced from the White House that he had decertified the Iran deal, asserting that the Iranian government had violated the terms of the agreement.

"Our policy is based on clear assessment of Iranian dictatorship, its sponsorship of terrorism and its continuing aggression in the Middle East and all around the world," Trump said.

In July 2015, the Obama administration and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's administration negotiated a deal that would lift U.S. sanctions on Iran if the Rouhani government dismantled its ability to develop a nuclear weapon and agreed to international inspections. China, Russia and the EU signed onto the agreement.

International observers asserted that Iran was still in compliance with the deal, and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis had previously told reporters that maintaining the agreement was crucial for national security.

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Trump not only decertified Iran's compliance with the agreement but also announced new sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a group that he accused of aiding terrorist organizations.

Beginning on Oct. 15, Congress will have 60 days to vote on whether to reimpose the U.S. sanctions on Iran that were lifted as a key condition of the nuclear deal. Trump asserted that he would cancel the deal entirely if Congress did not include stricter conditions for Iran.

"In the event we are not able to reach a solution ... with Congress, then the agreement will be terminated," Trump said, according to NBC News.

The president added that U.S. participation in the agreement "can be canceled by me at any time, period."

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Trump's decision was roundly criticized by U.S. allies. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini noted that the Iran agreement would continue even without U.S. participation, The Independent reports.

"We cannot afford as the international community to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working," Mogherini said.

"This deal is not a bilateral agreement ... The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will, continue to be in place."

The U.S. House Speaker, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, welcomed Trump's decertification of the Iran deal and called for a renegotiation.

"Simply enforcing a fatally flawed agreement is not sufficient," Ryan said. "I support President Trump's decision to reevaluate this dangerous deal, and the House will work with his administration to counter Iran's range of destabilizing activities."

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, has signaled that he would not support reimposing sanctions on Iran, noting that key U.S. allies support continuing the nuclear deal.

"You can only tear these things up one time," Corker told reporters. "It might feel good for a second, but one of the things that's important for us it to keep our allies with us."

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden took to social media to blast Trump's decision, asserting that withdrawal from the agreement would put America at odds with the international community.

"Unilaterally putting the Iran deal at risk does not isolate Iran," Biden tweeted. "It isolates us."

Sources: ABC News, Joe Biden/TwitterNBC NewsThe Independent / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr / Embedded Images: Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons, Hamed Malekpour/Wikimedia Commons

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