Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
U.S. President Donald Trump speaking from the White House, August 14 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to withdraw the United States from the JCPOA Iranian nuclear deal, according to a report published by The New York Times less than three hours before the president was to publicly share the decision.

According to the report, Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday morning that he would withdraw from the deal, a source said. The U.S. is preparing to reinstate all sanctions that were waived as part of the nuclear agreement, and to impose additional economic penalties as well, according to the source who spoke with the NYT.

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A second source said the talks over the deal broke down over the sunset clause, the point in the agreement that allows Iran to resume nuclear fuel production after 2030. Trump was unwilling to relinquish strong limits on Iranian production of nuclear fuel, period.

The decision fulfills another promise he made during his presidential campaign.

European allies, however, are likely to be at least anxious about the response of the Tehran government, if not outright discomfited by the decision. The prospect of increased tension with Russia and China is more likely as well, since both were parties to the agreement as well.

Israel is already bracing for an expected missile attack by Iranian-armed proxy groups, most likely from Syrian territory, after repeated threats from Tehran in the wake of an air strike on the T-4 (Tiyus) air base in central Syria earlier this year.

The T-4 base was being used by Iran for its military drone program, and it was from there that Iranian military personnel dispatched an attack drone armed with explosives to carry out an operation in Israeli territory. The drone was tracked by Israeli military personnel from the time of its launch and shot down once it crossed into Israeli air space.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.