President Donald Trump will unveil a more aggressive strategy to check Iran’s growing power Friday, but will stop short of withdrawing from a landmark nuclear deal, or declaring the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.
During a White House speech at 12:45 pm (1645 GMT), Trump is expected to declare the landmark 2015 agreement — which curbed Iran’s nuclear program in return for massive sanctions relief — is no longer in the US national interest.
Officials say he will not kill the international accord outright, instead “decertifying” the agreement and leaving US lawmakers to decide its fate.
Trump had repeatedly pledged to overturn one of his predecessor Barack Obama’s crowning foreign policy achievements, deriding it as “the worst deal” and one agreed to out of “weakness.”
The agreement was signed between Iran and six world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US — at talks coordinated by the European Union.
While the deal stalled Iran’s nuclear program and thawed relations between Iran and its “Great Satan”, opponents say it also prevented efforts to challenge Iranian influence in the Middle East.
Since coming to office, Trump has faced intense lobbying from international allies and his own national security team, who argued the deal should remain in place.