Trump gambles on different path to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions

Geneva Stokes
May 13, 2018

The Iranian deal, also known as the P5+1, was signed by Tehran and six other superpowers, which includes the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the U.S., Russia, France, China, the U.K. - plus Germany and the European Union.

A day after US President Donald Trump announced he was quitting the pact, putting him on a collision course with some of the US' closest allies, Macron spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani by telephone as attempts to salvage the deal began in earnest. And that will make a nuclear deal very hard to maintain. Billions more flowed into Iran because of the of unfreezing of financial accounts around the world as a result of lifted sanctions.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference that Germany had noted the U.S. decision with "regret and concern" but said that Iran had "stuck to its obligations" laid out in the agreement.

"They reaffirmed Russia's and Turkey's commitment to work together with other parties to the Plan of Action and coordinate their further steps".

The power was always there-even when Susan Rice was in the White House.

"They discussed the USA decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran". Michael Rubin, an Iran expert at the American Enterprise Institute, said the USA invasion of Iraq under George W. Bush was one factor in the regime's thinking. And Iranian mullahs and their jackboots in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, all flush with American cash. However, the country's central bank does not think the sanctions will have much of an effect.

A spokesman for Mrs May said: "The Prime Minister reiterated the Government's position on the Iran nuclear deal, noting that we and our European partners remain firmly committed to ensuring the deal is upheld, as the best way of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon". These two issues will nearly certainly prove to be closely intertwined.

Nevertheless, he said certain mechanisms had been included in case plane manufacturers fail to make their due deliveries in their deals with Iran.

The leaders also urged Iran to "show restraint in response to the decision by the U.S.".

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A small group of lawmakers in Iran burned paper US flags in Parliament on Wednesday, with Speaker Ali Larijani saying, "It is obvious that Trump only understands the language of force".

But Rouhani warned that he has instructed the country's atomic energy agency to prepare to restart enrichment of uranium at an industrial level in a few weeks' time should the deal collapse completely.

The immediate impact is more likely to be seen in a tougher approach in Syria, where Iranian troops (sent to help the government side in the civil war) are bombed by the Israelis practically every week.

While the Trump administration is prominent among those adversaries, its assertive policy for the Islamic Republic is eagerly backed up by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

"But it was worth all that to stop the Iranian nuclear program", Obama defenders argue.

Yet a key reason that the president gave for quitting the Iran deal is alleged evidence from Israel that Iran was not in compliance.

Both of the regional allies to the United States were naturally quick to weigh in on Trump's announcement. The Saudis also reiterated earlier assurances that they would quickly pursue nuclear weapons capability if Iran obtained a nuclear bomb. He exhorted listeners to shout "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!" Former Secretary Tillerson and former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster reportedly counseled the President to stay in JCPOA, but both were fired.

When the US imposed sanctions on Iran in 2012, accompanying European measures also restricted the International Group - which is based in London - from providing cover for Iranian shipments.

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