President Donald Trump intends to announce he will withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in a speech scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Members of Congress were being informed of Trump’s decision on Tuesday, NBC News reported and CNBC later confirmed. Several other news agencies also reported that Trump will exit the deal.
The landmark agreement lifted sanctions on Iran that crippled its economy and cut its oil exports roughly in half. In exchange for sanctions relief, Iran accepted limits on its nuclear program and allowed international inspectors into its facilities.
Trump is now expected to restore sanctions on Iran without offering evidence that Tehran has violated the terms of the nuclear deal. Congressional sources tell CNBC the administration plans to wind down various aspects of the deal over 90- or 180-day periods.
Exiting the deal fulfills one of Trump’s campaign promises, but threatens to strain U.S. relations with some of its closest allies and disrupt a significant source of the world’s oil. It also gives Iran the option of expelling inspectors and resuming nuclear activity that it has agreed to suspend.
Trump has long threatened to scrap the accord, the signature foreign policy achievement of the Obama administration. However, he certified that Iran was complying with the agreement throughout his first year in the Oval Office, reportedly under pressure from the moderate wing of his administration.
Still, the president began the process of unraveling the deal in October, when he told Congress the agreement was no longer in the country’s national security interest. At that point his administration began to push Congress and European allies to reopen negotiations and revise the accord.
The last time Trump certified Iran’s compliance in January, he warned that it would be the last time unless Washington reached a deal with Europe to toughen the terms of the nuclear agreement. That deal has not materialized ahead of the next deadline on May 12.
— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed reporting to this story.