Trump calls Iran agreement ‘one-sided deal’

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump is railing against the Iran nuclear agreement as “a horrible, one-sided deal” based on a lie.

Trump’s comments Tuesday come as he announces plans to follow through on his campaign threat to pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran during a televised address at the White House.

Trump says that if he allowed the deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race.

He also says a constructive deal could easily have been struck at the time, but it wasn’t.

Trump is calling Iran a “regime of great terror.”

And he says that “no action taken by the regime has been more dangerous than its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them.”

Israel’s military says forces are on high alert and is urging civilians in the Golan Heights near Syria to prepare bomb shelters.

The military directive Tuesday came “following the identification of irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria.” It said defense systems have been deployed.

The statement came as President Donald Trump was set to announce Tuesday whether the U.S. will exit the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers.

The possibility of the nuclear deal collapsing has raised concerns it might embolden Iran to strike Israeli targets.

Israel is believed to have been behind recent airstrikes on military bases in Syria that killed Iranian soldiers, prompting Tehran to vow retaliation. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied involvement. It has warned it will not tolerate archenemy Iran establishing itself militarily on its doorstep.

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Iran deal, a pillar of Obama’s legacy on foreign policy.

“Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes — with Iran — the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans,” Obama said in a statement. “That is why today’s announcement is so misguided.”

In his statement defending the multiparty agreement with Iran, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Obama cited many who support the deal, including the US’ European allies and invoked the support of US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who has said it is in the interest of the US to stay in the agreement.

“In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next,” Obama’s statement continued. “But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.”

Former Secretary of State John Kerry also issued a statement Tuesday afternoon condemning the move by Trump to abandon the agreement he helped forge.

“Today’s announcement weakens our security, breaks America’s word, isolates us from our European allies, puts Israel at greater risk, empowers Iran’s hardliners, and reduces our global leverage to address Tehran’s misbehavior, while damaging the ability of future Administrations to make international agreements,” Kerry’s statement said.

In the leadup to Trump’s announcement, Kerry called for Trump to keep the agreement intact, and on Monday, Trump criticized Kerry on Twitter for what he called “shadow diplomacy.”