WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Friday delivered an ultimatum to Americaâ€™s European allies to fix the â€śterrible flawsâ€ť in the Iran nuclear deal, or heâ€™ll pull the U.S. out in a few monthsâ€™ time.
Trump made the threat as he extended waivers of key economic sanctions on Iran, keeping the accord alive at least for now. But his explicit warning to Europe that the deal must be fixed by the time the next sanctions waivers are due in the spring creates a high-stakes diplomatic deadline that will be difficult to meet.
â€śThis is a last chance,â€ť Trump warned in a statement that outlined several tough new rules on Iran. â€śIn the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.â€ť
Trumpâ€™s declaration puts great pressure on Britain, France and Germany, the European signatories to nuclear pact with Iran. Trump wants them to help the U.S. devise a new agreement designed to prevent Iran from escalating nuclear activity again next decade, as permitted under the 2015 arrangement reached by President Barack Obama.
Iran has said itâ€™s not interested in any renegotiation and would almost certainly view a side agreement between the U.S. and Europe as a violation of the deal. The Europeans, meanwhile, have said they are willing to discuss the matter with the U.S. but have shown little enthusiasm with Trumpâ€™s hard line.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif accused Trump of â€śmaliciously violatingâ€ť the nuclear deal.