Trump to announce decision on Iran nuclear deal

The implications of the United States taking any steps to back out of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal could go far beyond alienating Iran. It could also create a rift with European allies who say the deal should be modified, not destroyed.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to halt its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions by the U.S. and Europe.

International Relations Professor Mahmood Monshipouri, who teaches at San Francisco State and UC Berkeley says Iran has abided by the terms.

"Iran before this nuclear deal had something close to 20,000 centrifuges and had something close to 7-8 tons of uranium stockpiled," said Monshipouri, "The International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA has shown that Iran is in full compliance with the nuclear deal." 

President Trump wants to renegotiate the provision allowing Iran to resume development of nuclear power in 2025.

Also, the Trump administration wants more oversight of Iran's ballistic missile program, claiming that recent testing violates the Nuclear Deal. Also, the Trump administration opposes Iran's political involvement in Syria and other parts of the Middle East.

"President Trump is not happy with Iranian political behavior in the region outside of the nuclear deal, so therefore they would like to add more pressure, more sanctions on Iran," said Monshipouri.

"Bigger than Paris, you know. Bigger than moving the Embassy in Jerusalem. Bigger than T-P-P. I mean this is a big split," said Mara Liasson, an NPR National Political Correspondent.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani had a stern warning Monday about abandoning the deal. 

"In this issue, Americans will be the main losers. Loss and failure will be for them in the end. We will continue our path," said President Rouhani.

Professor Monshipouri says Rouhani is a moderate who convinced the Iranian public to support the accord, despite opposition from hardline clerics and military officials.

"His position and his power will be enormously undermined. And that strengthens the hands of the hardliners," said Monshipouri.

Even some top Republicans oppose pulling out of the pact with no other plan in place.

"I'm not necessarily opposed to sticking with this deal forever, but, you need to have a clearer idea about next steps if we are going to pull out," said Texas Republican Mac Thornberry, the House Armed Services Committee Chairman.

"It looks very bad in the eyes of the international community. You have the European, you have the Chinese, and you have the Russians all on one side , and you have the United States standing alone on the other side," said Monshipouri.

Iran's president has indicated he might be willing to continue the terms of the deal in coordination with Europe if they agree to stick to the accord, even if the United States pulls out.