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Trump pulls US from Iran nuclear deal, to revive sanctions

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced the US withdrawal from what he called the “defective” multinational nuclear deal with Iran, and said Washington would reinstate sanctions against the Islamic republic.
“The Iran deal is defective at its core,” Trump said in a televised address from the White House. “I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”

“In a few moments, I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanctions,” he said.
He called Tehran the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, and decried its influence in the Middle East.
He said the ‘disastrous’ Iran deal was an embarrassment for US.

Over the years Iran and its proxies have bombed American installations, he said.
“Today we have definitive proof that the Iranian regime’s claims for a peaceful use of nuclear energy are false,” he said.
Far from protecting the US and allies, “the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and over time reach the brink of a nuclear breakout”, he said.
“If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” he added.
France, Germany, Britain ‘regret’ Trump’s decision on Iran: Macron

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron said that France, Germany and Britain regretted US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“France, Germany, and the UK regret the US decision to leave the JCPOA (Iran deal). The nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We will work collectively on a broader framework, covering nuclear activity, the post-2025 period, ballistic activity, and stability in the Middle-East, notably Syria, Yemen, and Iraq,” he added.
Rouhani will respond to Trump tonight

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani will respond on state television, shortly after US counterpart Donald Trump’s expected withdrawal from the nuclear deal, an Iranian official told AFP.
“If Trump speaks, President Rouhani will respond tonight” on television, said the official on condition of anonymity.
Mike Pence speaks to leaders

US Vice President Mike Pence is notifying Hill leaders that President Trump will announce withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, according to a senior congressional source, reports CNN
‘Trump has decided to pull out of Iran deal’

President Donald Trump will announce he is pulling the United States out of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, a US government official told AFP.
The president has decided to withdraw from the 2015 accord, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of Trump’s announcement at 2:00 pm (1800 GMT).
Trump poised to cripple nuclear deal

Donald Trump was poised to reimpose US sanctions on Iran, effectively abandoning the 2015 nuclear accord that Washington’s allies believe is the last barrier against a Middle East arms race, latest media reaports say, ahead of his much anticiated address just minutes away.
According to an unconfirmed New York Times report, Trump will reinstate all US sanctions waived under the accord and impose additional economic penalties, despite calls from European capitals for more time to negotiate a “Plan B.”
Trump, who has long pledged to tear up the “very badly negotiated” agreement, was due to speak at 2:00 pm at the White House, with some supporters of the deal clinging to hopes he might only partially reinstate sanctions or allow more time for talks.
Oil plunges ahead of Trump’s decision on Iran

Oil prices plunged from their highest level since 2014, as investors held their breath for a decision from US President Donald Trump on Iran’s nuclear deal.
Many analysts expected Trump not to walk away from the Iran deal without offering any compromise, a hope that dragged oil prices down by around $2.00 on the benchmark WTI index and just a little less on Brent.
But some experts were more pessimistic, leading prices to resist any further falls.
World to learn fate of Iran nuclear pact in Trump address

President Donald Trump is preparing to tell the world whether he plans to follow through on his threat to pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran and almost surely ensure its collapse.
There are no signs that European allies enlisted to “fix” the deal have persuaded him to preserve it.
In a burst of last-minute diplomacy, punctuated by a visit by Britain’s top diplomat, the deal’s European members gave in to many of Trump’s demands, according to officials, diplomats and others briefed on the negotiations. Yet they still left convinced he is likely to re-impose sanctions and walk away from the deal he has lambasted since his days as a presidential candidate.
A senior Western diplomat said France, Britain and Germany – which were also party to the agreement – were working on the assumption of a hard US exit after a call last week between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and European officials at which he made clear talks on rescuing the deal would not go further.
“He let it be known that it was over,” the diplomat said.
European officials understood this to mean that Trump would not renew sanctions waivers, a move which would in effect kill the deal.
Trump planned to discuss his decision in a phone call on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron, a senior White House official said.
Trump has consistently threatened to pull out of the 2015 agreement because it does not address Iran’s ballistic missile program or its role in wars in Syria and Yemen, and does not permanently prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.
European leaders have warned that a U.S. withdrawal would undo years of work that has kept nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands.
In Washington, the Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee said the United States should continue to fix flaws in accord and “enforce the hell” out of it, but not withdraw.
Speaking hours before Trump was due to announce his decision, Ed Royce said tearing up the deal would not recover cash sent to Iran’s government or “galvanize” allies into addressing Iran’s dangerous activities.
“I fear a withdrawal would actually set back those efforts,” he said in a statement.
What is the Iran nuclear deal?

Iran and a six-nation negotiating group reached a landmark agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015. It ended a 12 years of deadlock over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Struck in Vienna after nearly two years of intensive talks, the deal limited the Iranian programme to reassure the rest of the world that it would be unable to develop nuclear weapons, in return for sanctions relief.

A file pictures shows Iranian workers stand in front of the Bushehr nuclear power plant. (Reuters)
At its core, the JCPOA is a straightforward bargain. Iran’s acceptance of strict limits on its nuclear programme in return for an escape from the sanctions that grew up around its economy over a decade prior to the accord. Under the deal, Iran unplugged two-thirds of its centrifuges, shipped out 98% of its enriched uranium and filled its plutonium production reactor with concrete.
Tehran also accepted extensive monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has verified 10 times since the agreement, and as recently as February, that Tehran has complied with its terms. In return, all nuclear-related sanctions were lifted in January 2016 , reconnecting Iran to global markets.
Which countries are involved?

The six major powers involved in the nuclear talks with Iran were in a group known as the P5+1: the UN security council’s five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US – and Germany. The nuclear deal is also enshrined in a UN security council resolution that incorporated it into international law. The 15 members of the council at the time unanimously endorsed the agreement.
Why does Donald Trump want to scrap it?

Donald Trump’s victory in US election in November 2016 put the fate of the deal in doubt. He had promised before his election to “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran”, although many believed he might instead adopt a more rigorous implementation of the agreement and tighten sanctions already in place. This could force Tehran to violate first or make the deal redundant.
In January, he reluctantly waived a raft of sanctions against Iran as required by Congress every 120 days, but said “this is a last chance” and asked “European countries to join with the United States in fixing significant flaws in the deal”. The congressional deadline Trump faces this time is 12 May, but he tweeted on Monday that he will announce his decision by Tuesday .
Trump believes the agreement is a bad deal, which falls short of addressing Iran’s regional behaviour or its missile programme. He is emboldened by a group of Iran hawks in his inner circle, such as the national security adviser, John Bolton , and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo .
Why do others want to save it?

Except for the US, all other P5+1 negotiating partners want to keep the agreement. In the words of Boris Johnson , the UK foreign secretary, who has visited Washington DC to lobby Trump not to scuttle the agreement , “of all the options we have for ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon, this pact offers the fewest disadvantages”.
After the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, unveiled a cache of documents that he claimed showed Iran was cheating on the agreement , European countries pushed back against this, saying the documents underlined the importance of keeping it .
Source: Gulf News

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