WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran is failing to fulfill the “spirit” of its nuclear deal with world powers, President Donald Trump declared Thursday, setting an ominous tone for his forthcoming decision about whether to pull the US out of the landmark agreement.
As he often had during the president campaign, Trump ripped into the deal struck by Iran, the US and other world powers in 2015 and said “it shouldn’t have been signed.” Yet he pointedly stopped short of telegraphing whether or not the US would stay in.
“They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that,” Trump said of the Iranians, though he did not mention any specific violations. Earlier this week, the administration certified to Congress than Iran was complying — at least technically — with the terms of the deal, clearing the way for Iran to continue enjoying sanctions relief in the near term.
In a news conference alongside Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, Trump also said:
— The US is committed to a strong Europe, though he didn’t say directly whether he prefers that the European Union stay intact.
— He sees no military role for the US in stabilizing Libya.
— It’s possible he may soon be able to strike deals with Congress on both health care and funding legislation to head off a government shutdown.
On Iran, Trump and his top officials have been walking a narrow line as they seek to show an aggressive stance. While disparaging the nuclear deal and accusing Iran of fomenting violence and terrorism throughout the Middle East, Trump has avoided committing to abandoning the agreement, a move that would be staunchly opposed by US businesses and European allies.
Read More: Times of Israel