U.S. President Donald Trump has announced America’s formal withdrawal from an international deal established with Iran intended to curb the aggressive nation’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Trump said,

The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them … In a few moments, I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating US nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction … Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States. America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail.”

According to reports sourced from within the White House, President Trump first told French President Emmanuel Macron about his plans to make the announcement during a Tuesday morning phone conversation. As a result of the U.S. withdrawal, Trump has stated that he intends to re-establish the full suite of sanctions placed on Iran prior to the signing of the international agreement, brokered in no small part by Trump’s predecessor, Barrack Obama. One unnamed source also indicated that President Trump plans to enact further economic penalties for Iranian aggression, though for the moment, the focus of the President’s statements remained nuclear.

President Trump went on to say, “If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.”