Iran

The Trump administration is making plans to "prod" and "cajole" U.S. allies to stop doing business with Iran, a senior State Department official told NPR on Wednesday.

Andrew Peek, who oversees State Department affairs relating to Iran, spoke the morning after President Trump announced that he was withdrawing the United States from its 2015 agreement with Iran limiting its nuclear program and that he was reviving sanctions on Iran.

President Trump's announcement that he will withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal sent crude oil prices up slightly. U.S. drivers who have noticed higher prices at the pump may be tempted to blame Trump's Iran decision, but it's only one factor at play right now. Even before Trump's announcement gasoline prices were nearly 50 cents a gallon higher than a year ago.

Updated at 6:36 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Tuesday that he has decided to exit a 2015 multinational agreement in which Iran agreed to limit its production of nuclear weapons material.

"I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal," Trump said.

He said the U.S. will reimpose economic sanctions that were lifted as part of the U.S. commitments made in the deal.

President Trump says he will announce Tuesday whether he is going to keep the U.S. in the Iran nuclear deal. This comes after Trump has allowed the deal to stay in place through the first 15 months of his presidency while frequently criticizing it and threatening to pull the U.S. out of it.

President Trump has called it the "one of the worst deals" he has ever seen — but for now, he is keeping the U.S. in the nuclear deal with Iran.

The president decided Friday to continue waiving — that is, easing — some economic sanctions against Iran. That is part of the U.S. commitment in the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Under the deal, Iran allows strict limits on its nuclear program in return for easing of economic sanctions.

OFFICIAL PHOTO, PUBLIC DOMAIN

Kentucky’s lone Democratic Congressman says President Trump’s decision to decertify Iran’s compliance with the Obama-era nuclear agreement jeopardizes international security and weakens the United State’s position as a global leader.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

President Trump is striking a formal blow against the Iran nuclear deal. But he is stopping short of asking Congress to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Instead, the president is urging lawmakers to pass a new law, spelling out conditions under which sanctions could be reimposed.

In 2015, world powers agreed to give Iran relief from some economic sanctions in return for inspections and limits on its nuclear program. Since the nuclear deal — formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — took effect in January 2016, Iran has allowed inspections and is seeing some economic payoff.

When the Iranian nuclear agreement was reached in 2015 there was a hope — and it was just a hope — that the deal would lead to a more moderate Iran.

As tough sanctions were lifted, Iran received billions of dollars in oil revenues that had been blocked. The country's international isolation eased, raising the possibility that Iran's friction with the U.S. and some Arab states might give way to greater engagement, at least in some areas.

No one is talking like that now.

United States Department of State, Public Domain

Airing Monday at 1 p.m. on WKMS (pre-empting The Takeaway) Hosted by Steve Inskeep

Few Americans remember that Iran launched its nuclear program in the 1950s with the direct backing of its then ally, the United States. That American support would turn to sanctions and threats of war over Iran's nuclear ambitions. The bitter rivals opened secret negotiations two years ago and are now party to a high-risk deal. Supporters and critics agree it's a pivotal moment -- but for better or worse?

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