Former President Barack Obama released a statement Tuesday in reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran deal, calling it “misguided” and a “serious mistake.” Obama insisted that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is “working” and said that while Iranian behavior is troubling, the country is “is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is unconstrained.” “Our ability to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior—and to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies—is strengthened with the JCPOA, and weakened without it,” he said. Obama added that the U.S. could be left with a tough choice “between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East.” He also remarked on how the diplomatic back-and-forth might look going into negotiations with North Korea. “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,” he said. The Iran deal was Obama’s signature foreign-policy achievement—adopted in 2015 and implemented before he left office.
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