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US to withdraw from Iran nuclear agreement

[JURIST] US President Donald Trump announced [press release] Tuesday that the US will be withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The JCPOA was reached [JURIST report] in 2015, which lifted economic sanctions off Iran in exchange for agreeing not to create a nuclear bomb.

The statement from the White House re-imposes all US sanctions lifted or waived in connection with the JCPOA, including the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 and the Iran Freedom and Counter-proliferation Act of 2012. These are expected to go into effect in no later than 180 days. The memorandum also delegates to the agencies of the United States to monitor Iran's nuclear conduct.

The effect of the United States leaving the JCPOA is not yet known but has been the subject of speculation [JURIST op-ed] since Trump said during his presidential campaign that he would leave the deal. Trump has said, "it is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement." He has also called the deal, "defective at its core."

There is opposition to the US leaving the deal. Senator Bob Menendez has said it, "is a grave mistake to walk away from this deal without a plan for ensuring that Iran does not restart its nuclear weapon program, without a strategy for countering Iran's dangerous non-nuclear activities, and without our allies and partners."

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