US President Donald Trump on Tuesday night claimed Iran was breaching its nuclear deal with world powers “long before” he became president and quit the accord.
Up until Tehran’s announcement Monday that it had exceeded the limit on enriched uranium reserves placed upon it as part of the 2015 deal, the UN’s atomic energy agency, whose job it is to monitor the implementation of the deal, consistently said Iran was living up to its part of the bargain.
But Trump in a tweet said: “Iran was violating the 150 Billion Dollar (plus 1.8 Billion Dollar in CASH) Nuclear Deal with the United States, and others who paid NOTHING, long before I became President – and they have now breached their stockpile limit. Not good!”
He did not explain what he was basing that assessment on. Trump has in the past said Iran was not living up to the “spirit” of the accord.
Iran was violating the 150 Billion Dollar (plus 1.8 Billion Dollar in CASH) Nuclear Deal with the United States, and others who paid NOTHING, long before I became President – and they have now breached their stockpile limit. Not good!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2019
On Monday Trump said Iran was “playing with fire” in reneging on elements of the deal, which Washington abandoned in its entirety last year, imposing biting sanctions on Iranian crucial oil exports and financial transactions as well as other sectors.
Israel has urged European states to sanction Iran as well. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused Iran of breaching the deal in order to “blackmail” the international community into relieving economic pressure on the Islamic Republic.
Tehran, which has sought to pressure the remaining parties to save the deal, announced on May 8 it would no longer respect the limit set on its enriched uranium and heavy water stockpiles.
It threatened to abandon further nuclear commitments unless the remaining partners — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — helped it circumvent sanctions, especially to sell its oil.
The latest tensions coincide with a buildup of US forces in the Gulf and a series of incidents including Iran’s shooting down of a US drone it claimed had entered its airspace.