A staff member removes the Iranian flag from the stage after a group picture with foreign ministers and...
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL: After the U.S. signed a nuclear with Iran and five other countries in July 2015, Obama's administration touted the deal as a legacy foreign policy achievement, a way to suspend Tehran's suspected drive to develop atomic weapons. The six agreed to lift economic sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program, which Tehran said was for peaceful energy purposes only. Thanks in part to the nuclear agreement, Iran has begun to rejoin global politics and economics after more than three decades of isolation. Business and political leaders are visiting the country, which is also hosting trade conferences.
The deal, harshly opposed by Republicans in Congress, was reached as a political commitment rather than a treaty ratified by lawmakers, making it vulnerable to a new U.S. president. Trump ran for the White House opposing the deal but contradictory statements made it unclear how he would act. Trump said the deal lead to a "nuclear holocaust" and that he would have negotiated a better deal, with longer restrictions, but somewhat paradoxically, he criticized remaining U.S. sanctions that prevent American companies from dealing with Iran. By contrast, he has conceded it would be hard to destroy a deal enshrined in a United Nations resolution.
Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the European Union's foreign policy service, said the deal was not up for renegotiation. "It's a multilateral agreement that cannot be renegotiated bilaterally," she said, pointing out that the deal had also been endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.