President Donald Trump on Friday laid out Iran's long history of terror sponsorship and destabilizing behavior in a speech announcing he would not certify the nuclear deal, calling the country a "radical regime" that has spread "death" around the world.
"Iran is under the control of a fanatical regime that seized power in 1979 and forced a proud people to submit to its extremist rule," Trump said. "This radical regime has raided the wealth of one of the world's oldest and most vibrant nations, and spread death, destruction and chaos all around the globe."
Trump delved into various illicit acts by Iran and its sponsorship of past terrorist acts that killed American soldiers and civilians.
"The Iranian dictatorship's aggression continues to this day," he said. "The regime remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and provides assistance to al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist networks. It develops, deploys and proliferates missiles that threaten troops and their allies. It harasses american ships and threatens freedom of navigation in the Arabian Gulf and in the Red Sea. It imprisons Americans on false charges. It launches cyber attacks against our critical infrastructure, financial system and military."
"The United States is far from the only target of the Iranian dictatorship's long campaign of bloodshed. The regime violently suppresses its own citizens. It shot unarmed student protesters in the street during the Green Revolution. This regime has fueled sectarian violence in Iraq and vicious civil wars in Yemen and Syria."
As expected, Trump announced that his administration would not re-certify the nuclear deal and punted the issue to Congress. Congress must now decide whether to reimpose a large set of nuclear sanctions that were lifted as part of the agreement.
"Based on what I put forward, I am announcing that we cannot, and will not make this certification," Trump said.
Trump promised to fully cancel the deal if Congress and U.S. allies did not allay his concerns about the agreement.
The Iran nuclear deal was brokered during the Obama administration and lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran halting its nuclear development program. The agreement, however, contained a "sunset" clause that saw restrictions on its nuclear activity being lifted, beginning in 2025.