U.S. President Donald Trump said in a television interview he will not proceed for now with his pledge to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, and he declined to specify his plans in regard to the landmark nuclear deal with Iran.
Speaking on a TV show hosted by former Republican governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Trump on October 7 said he would hold off on the controversial embassy move until another push for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal could be attempted.
"I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem," Trump said on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).
“We're going to make a decision in the not-too-distant future," he added.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinians regard Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and declared all of the city as its capital, a move never recognized by the international community. Most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump vowed to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there.
On Iran, Trump declined to specify his intentions in regard to the nuclear accord with Iran, but he said he is “very unhappy with the deal…I’m very unhappy with their attitude.”
“The spirit of the deal, certainly, is not there…They are literally causing trouble, predominantly in the Middle East,” he added.
In July 2015, Iran and global powers, including the United States, signed the accord in which Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions.
The United States and other Western governments fear that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear program is intended solely for peaceful purposes, including power generation.
Trump’s latest comments are in line with what he said during an October 5 meeting with military leaders at the White House, 10 days before a deadline to decide whether to certify that Iran is in compliance with the deal, which he has sharply criticized.
His comments also follow several media reports saying he intends to announce plans to decertify the deal, declaring it not in U.S. interests.
The move would give the Republican-controlled Congress 60 days to decide whether to reinstate sanctions on Tehran that were suspended under the agreement.
With reporting by AFP and TBN