WASHINGTON — US officials say President Donald Trump plans to deliver a broad critique of Iran in a speech declaring that the 2015 nuclear deal is not in America’s national security interests.
The speech is set for Friday afternoon at the White House.
“At 12:45 tomorrow, the president will deliver remarks announcing the strategy to the country,” said White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Trump’s speech will outline specific faults in the accord but also address an array of Iran’s troubling non-nuclear activities, officials told the Associated Press. Those include its ballistic missile program, support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group and others that destabilize the region.
The officials were not authorized to publicly preview the speech and spoke on condition of anonymity. They said that Trump will not call for a re-imposition of nuclear sanctions but urge Congress to pass legislation that will complement a new US approach to Iran.
Earlier, Trump again dismissed the Iran nuclear accord as terrible for America.
“This is the worst deal. We got nothing,” Trump told Fox News on Wednesday in reference to the 2015 accord negotiated with Iran by the United States and five other world powers.
It gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program in a bid to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.
“We did it out of weakness when actually, we have great strength,” said Trump.
“We will see what happens pretty soon,” said Trump, ahead of an October 15 deadline for recertification.
Every 90 days the president has to notify Congress as to whether he believes Iran is complying with the accord and if the lifting of sanctions is in the interest of the American people.
So far Trump has certified the accord but said the next deadline on Sunday is the crucial one.
Several US officials have said Trump might this time choose not certify the accord.
If he announces he will not to certify, Trump would be defying the opinion of some of his top advisers, European countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency.