Defense

Trump Rips Nuclear Deal Following Iran’s Missile Test

President Donald Trump once again reiterated his displeasure with the Iran nuclear deal Saturday, following Tehran’s successful test of a ballistic missile capable of striking targets within 1,200 miles.

Echoing his previous criticism of the deal, Trump tweeted that the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was “not much of an agreement.”

“Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel,” he said. “They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!”

The JCPOA is a 2015 agreement negotiated between the Obama administration, Iran, and other world powers. It gives Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its nuclear weapons development program.

During his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump called the agreement “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions” in U.S. diplomatic history and an “embarrassment to the United States.” The Trump administration has repeatedly said that Iran is violating the “spirit” of the JCPOA, and has suggested that it will not certify Tehran’s compliance at the next review deadline Oct. 15.

Washington considers Tehran’s ballistic missile tests to be a violation of the U.N. resolution that endorsed JCPOA. Iran says its missile program is within the bounds of the resolution because the rockets are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.

Based on recommendations from Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the White House has twice certified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. However, Trump’s latest criticism of the agreement lends additional weight to recent suggestions by Tillerson and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley that the U.S. will move to decertify, which would initiate a congressional review of Tehran’s actions and open the door to a new round of sanctions on the regime. (RELATED: The Iran Deal’s Days May Be Numbered. Here’s Trump’s Likely Next Move)

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