BY REBECCA KHEEL
President Trump vowed Monday that Iran will “NEVER” have a nuclear weapon, a day after Tehran announced it would no longer adhere to any limits of the 2015 nuclear deal.
On Sunday, Iran announced it would cease complying with limits set by the Obama-era agreement reached between Tehran and other world powers that curbed the country’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The decision brings Iran, which has already been breaching certain limits spelled out in the deal, significantly closer to being able to develop a nuclear weapon. The country, however, insists its nuclear program is not weapons-based.
Tehran has left open the possibility that it would return to compliance with the deal should it get the sanctions relief it has been seeking since Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018, when the Trump administration also reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran.
Iran’s decision to abandon the nuclear constraints came just days after a U.S. military strike ordered by Trump killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, one of the most powerful officials in Iran and leader of its elite Quds Force.
Soleimani’s killing, at an airport in Baghdad, has ratcheted up tensions in the region, stoking fears of a military clash between the United States and Iran.
Iranian officials have vowed to take revenge for Soleimani’s death.Trump, in turn, has threatened to target 52 Iranian sites, including cultural sites, if Iran attacks Americans or U.S. assets.
“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way,” Trump said Sunday, referring to Iran.