U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw his support for the Iran nuclear agreement Friday, but stop short of completely scrapping the deal. The U.S. leader is expected to outline a new strategy.
Trump will likely declare that it is not in the U.S. national security interests to certify the 2015 deal that Washington reached with Iran and five other countries.
The move would start a 60-day period during which Congress must decide whether to re-impose some or all of the economic sanctions that had been lifted as part of the agreement.
Many Republicans and Democrats are opposed to reinstating sanctions, which would effectively kill the agreement, and media reports suggest Trump may hold off on urging Congress to do so.
Trump has called the pact “one of the dumbest deals ever” and repeatedly suggested that he may do away with it.
The president has said Iran has “not lived up to the spirit” of the agreement.
Under U.S. law, the president must certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal and that it is in nation’s interests to stay in the agreement. Trump has twice certified the deal, but done so unhappily, reports suggest.
The next certification deadline is Oct. 15.
The Trump administration has continued to accuse Iran of sponsoring terrorism, threatening U.S. allies in the Middle East and testing ballistic missiles. Trump has publicly lamented that the agreement does not cover these issues.
Iranian officials have stressed that the deal is not up for renegotiation. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has threatened to leave the deal “within hours” if the U.S. imposes new sanctions.