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Leaving "rotten" Iran deal, Trump rushes nuclear showdown

Donald Trump shaking finger from White House lectern
President Trump after signing a document reinstating sanctions against Iran on May 8, 2018. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump took the most radical option available in pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, which he variously described as “horrible,” “one-sided,” “disastrous,” “decaying” and “rotten.” He also announced the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran and those who continue to do business with Iran.

Why it matters: Trump’s decision could force a showdown over Iran’s nuclear program now rather than in a decade. If Iran were to resume nuclear activities proscribed by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), there is a real risk the U.S. or Israel would launch attacks against it, starting a regional conflict of unknown dimensions.