Drury University professor explains move to pull U.S. out of a deal with Iran

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. The United States is pulling out its deal with Iran that stops them from developing or acquiring nuclear weapons. President Trump calls it a "bad, one sided deal." He says he will be re-instituting the highest level of sanctions against the Iranian regime.

The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed in 2015.

To fully understand this we asked a professor at Drury University to explain.

Jeff VanDenBerg asks, "Is it better to have Iran under strict limitations and strict observation by the international community for another 10 years or not?"

VanDenBerg is the director of Middle East Studies at Drury. He's studied politics in the region for years.

"I think there's a lot of downsides to this policy that the president announced today and not very many upsides," he says.

VanDenBerg believes that President Trump didn't think the current deal with Iran was strong enough.

"It didn't address Iran's behavior in the region and also it didn't address Iran's ballistic missile program," he says.

The president explained his decision Tuesday afternoon.

"It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement," he said.

Vandenberg thinks the move to pull out of the agreement puts the U.S. in a bad light.

"In terms of international credibility, which is really one of the major currencies of international relations, it's problematic," he says.

VanDenBerg believes that the Iranian leaders might feel slighted.

"Now, all of the sudden, the hardliners can say, look, we told you so. You shouldn't have signed a deal with the United States and others. They're not going to hold up the end of the bargain," he explained.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will stay in place for now.

"As we exit the Iran deal, we will be working with our allies to find a real, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear threat," says President Trump.

VanDenBerg says, "All of those other countries, France, the U.K., Germany, the E.U., Russia and China have all said they think the deal is working and they're staying in."

He says the president's decision is risky.

"Now if you're North Korea and you see what happened with the Iran deal why would you believe that the U.S. is going to hold up its end of the bargain," he explained.

VanDenBerg predicts oil prices will rise. He also believes the safety of our troops may be compromised.

"None of the arguments today are that Iran is a friend. But rather if you can negotiate things that minimize the possibility of war or that you calculate are in your interest with an adversary than that's a better solution than the alternatives which is no deal or war," he says.

It's been reported that Iranian leaders will continue talks with the rest of the countries that still part of the deal to weigh their options and determine if it still benefits their interests.