The agreement, struck in 2015 by the United States, other world powers, and Iran, lifted most U.S. and international sanctions against the country. In return, Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program making it impossible to produce a bomb, along with rigorous inspections.
During his announcement, Trump said the deal was “defective at its core” and called it a “horrible one-sided deal that should never have been made.”
Members of Rhode Island’s and Massachusett’s Congressional delegations blasted the president’s decision to pull out of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI
“Despite the fact that the JCPOA is working, President Trump has been intent on blowing it up. By unilaterally abandoning this accord, he is undermining U.S. diplomacy and leadership and making us less safe.
“President Trump is ignoring the advice of his top generals and military leaders and putting electoral interests above America’s security interests.
“President Trump can malign the JCPOA all he wants, but that doesn’t change the fact that it has moved Iran further away from the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon. And the action he took today will have a destabilizing impact in the region and could hinder our ability to work with our allies.
“It is irresponsible for President Trump to abandon this international agreement and needlessly isolate the United States in the absence of an Iranian violation and without presenting a credible alternative to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-RI
“This is a reckless decision. It’s a decision that endangers our security and makes it harder for other countries to take us at our word.”
“For two years, the Iran deal has imposed the most intrusive nuclear inspections regime in the history of the world. It has prevented Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. It is not perfect, but the President’s decision will make it harder than ever to improve it.”
“In addition, the President’s decision undermines the United States’ reputation. We have always kept our word, but that changed today. Countries like North Korea now have even more reason to question whether President Trump won’t just change the terms of any current or future agreements when he feels like it. That will make us less respected across the world, and it does nothing to make us safer at home.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA
“America should be a country that keeps it promises. The Obama Administration negotiated a landmark agreement to peacefully prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. But President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran Deal breaks our word, hurts our credibility with our allies, empowers Iranian hardliners, and doesn’t make us any safer here at home. There’s no question that Iran’s government is a bad actor. But inspectors have independently verified that Iran has been complying with the deal – a fact that even the Trump Administration has conceded. I’d rather the United States – together with our allies – counter Iran’s bad behavior with the nuclear deal than without it. Instead, President Trump has pulled the US out without offering any real alternative to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, creating chaos and confusion across the Middle East, and the world. This isn’t a strategy. It’s a recipe for disaster.”
Rep. William Keating, D-MA
“In the very same day that President Trump announced our country’s withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal, the House Foreign Affairs Committee met and both Republicans and Democrats on the Committee urged him not to pursue this course of action. So why bipartisanship on this particular agreement? Because it is keeping us safer. It will work in permanently banning the ability of Iran to have nuclear weapons. It takes the hard sanctions that we worked on with our allies – our European allies in particular – that came to bear on Iran and ensured that we work together with leverage and strength so Iran does not violate this agreement. And they have not.”