Monday, 22 October, 2018

UK Foreign Secretary in bid to persuade Trump to back Iran deal

British officials ‘making progress’ with Trump to save Iran nuclear deal Trump aides hired Israeli operatives to find dirt on Obama staffers behind Iran deal
| 07 May, 2018, 15:14

Yoel Guzansky, an analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies, an Israeli think tank, said Trump is playing "a game of chicken" with Iran in hopes of renegotiating a better deal.

The nuclear deal was struck in 2015 between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, then led by Barack Obama, reports AFP.

Total did not respond to requests for comment, though its CEO Patrick Pouyanne reportedly told Trump in February to stick with the deal.

Britain, France and Germany remain committed to the accord and, in an effort to address USA complaints, want to open talks on Iran's ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 - when pivotal provisions of the deal expire - and its role in the wars in Syria and Yemen.

Even if Trump rejects a possible remedy being worked out by USA and European officials and decides to bring back sanctions, the most drastic US measures targeting Iran's oil sales will not immediately resume.

In a speech on Sunday in Sabzevar, Rouhani asserted that Tehran is ready for any U.S. withdrawal from the deal and that Iran rejects any new deal on the weapons and the Iranian missile program, affirming that there will be no negotiations about Iran's defense programs with any party.

Also Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again criticized the agreement during a cabinet meeting.

Trump has expressed contempt for the 2015 nuclear accord that offers Iran sanctions relief in return for halting its nuclear weapons program, signaling that he's not inclined to extend waivers that allow Iran to export oil to some of its biggest customers.


Rouhani said in Sunday's speech that Iran's defense capabilities are not subject to negotiation.

They have been critical of what they call "a weak inspection regime" in place and the fact that the deal does not address Iran's ballistic missile abilities which it has continued to develop. Such an effort could also include pushing back on Iran's support for regional actors that threaten Western interests, such as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Houthi rebels in Yemen.

"We are honouring our commitment, but we are telling the whole world we will not negotiate with anyone about our weapons and our defence". The U.S. and its allies maintain separate sanctions on Iran for those problems.

The Islamic republic has always denied it sought a nuclear weapon, insisting its atomic program was for civilian purposes.

Key things to know about the Iran nuclear accord - and what is expected if Trump decides to pull out.

Macron urged Trump not to withdraw when he met the president in Washington late last month.

In practice, this will mean the United States withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, which trump has repeatedly criticized. Without that, Iran would be freed immediately from the deal's restraints - in effect changing the deal's sunset provisions from 10-15 years to zero - and the Europeans would likely be unwilling to join in pressuring Iran on other issues.

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