Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks at the 2018 Iran Freedom Convention in Washington, DC, May 5, 2018.
(photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump's lawyer, former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani indicated on Saturday evening that the US was likely to exit the nuclear deal with Iran, American broadcaster CBS reported.
In his speech before the Iran Freedom Convention for Democracy and Human rights, a Washington DC conference hosting some 1,000 representatives from the Iranian-American community, Giuliani asked the cheering crowd: "With Pompeo now on his right hand and his national security advisor John Bolton on his left side [laughing], what do you think is gonna happen to this agreement... that nuclear agreement?"
He then symbolically held up a piece of paper and pretended to tear it and spit on it, suggesting that the nuclear deal is going to be nixed, not fixed, on May 12.
In his speech, Giuliani also advocated for a regime change in Iran, saying that there was nothing more important than "bringing freedom and liberating good people like the people of Iran," while praising Trump for announcing that the US was supporting the Iranian people's fight for freedom.
Last Wednesday, White House officials said that the US president had all but decided to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord
. Technically, Trump must decide by May 12 whether to renew "waivers" suspending some of the US sanctions on Iran. One of the White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said it was possible Trump will end up with a decision that "is not a full pullout" but was unable to describe what that might look like.
Over the past weeks, leaders of the major powers had tried to convince the US president to maintain the deal with numerous meetings and phone calls involving British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
, as well as calls of support for the deal from Japan
, and threats against leaving the deal from Russia.
However, a presentation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Monday about documenting evidence of Tehran's past nuclear arms program could give Trump a fresh argument to withdraw, even though UN inspectors say Iran has complied with the terms of the deal. Iran has denied ever seeking nuclear weapons and accuses its arch-foe Israel of stirring up world suspicions against it.
The pact between Iran and six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - was among former US president Barack Obama's signature foreign policies but has been described by Trump as "one of the worst deals I have ever witnessed."Reuters contributed to this report.