In a statement from the White House, US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday the US is withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. Economic sanctions on Iran will be reinstated.

Trump making his announcement from the White House

Trump making his announcement from the White House Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube

US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday his country’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers, dealing a heavy blow to the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

In a statement delivered from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Trump called the deal “defective in its core” and said it embarrasses him as a US citizen. “The deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and, overtime, reach the break of a nuclear breakout,” he said. “The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity, and no limits at all on its other malign behavior, including its sinister activities in Syria, Yemen and other places all around the world.”

“If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen,” Trump added. “In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapon. Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”

Watch: Trump’s announcement on Iran nuclear deal

“In a few moments, I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating US nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime,” he said. “We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction. Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.”

In response to Trump’s announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “The people of Israel should all appreciate the right decision to block this bad deal and the Iranian aggression.” He urged the international community to impose sanctions on Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear arsenal and to entrench itself militarily in Syria.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called Trump’s decision “a brave move showing great leadership.” “Tonight, President Trump, the leader of the free world, told the Ayatollah regime with a clear and determined voice: Enough!” Lieberman tweeted.

Hours ahead of Trump’s announcement, media reports cited several US and European officials who anticipated that he would choose not to waive the sanctions on Iran as a first step toward pulling out of the deal altogether.

According to The Guardian, officials in France, Germany and the UK have stated that their countries plan to remain in the deal even if the US withdraws from it.

As Trump’s intentions regarding the deal became more and more clear, a CNN poll on Tuesday found that only 37% of Americans support the president’s policy on Iran whereas 46% believe the US should remain in the deal.