Trump dumps Iran nuclear deal, US reimposes economic sanctions on Tehran

Agencies/ Washington
May 10, 2018 INTERNATIONAL 133 Views
Trump dumps Iran nuclear deal, US reimposes economic sanctions on Tehran

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday the US will pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran, dealing a profound blow to US allies and potentially deepening the president’s isolation on the world stage.
“The United States does not make empty threats,” he said in a televised address.
Trump’s decision means Iran’s government must now decide whether to follow the US and withdraw or try to salvage what’s left of the deal. Iran has offered conflicting statements about what it may do – and the answer may depend on exactly how Trump exits the agreement.
Trump said he would move to re-impose all sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 deal, not just the ones facing an immediate deadline. This had become known informally as the “nuclear option” because of the near-certainty that such a move would scuttle the deal.
Supporters of fixing the agreement had hoped Trump would choose a piecemeal approach that could leave more room for him to reverse himself and stay in the deal if he could secure the additional restrictions that European nations tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with him.
Still, the administration planned to allow a grace period of at least three months and possibly up to six months so that businesses and governments can wind down operations that will violate the re-imposed U.S. sanctions.
A slower withdrawal process could allow more room for Trump to reverse course later and decide to stay – if he secures the additional restrictions on Iran that European nations tried unsuccessfully to negotiate to prevent him from withdrawing. Indeed, as administration officials briefed congressional leaders about Trump’s plans Tuesday, they emphasized that just as with a major Asia trade deal and the Paris climate pact that Trump has abandoned, he remains open to renegotiating a better deal, one person briefed on the talks said.
The agreement, struck in 2015 by the United States, other world powers and Iran, lifted most U.S. and international sanctions against the country. In return, Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program making it impossible to produce a bomb, along with rigorous inspections.
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 was likely to re-impose sanctions.
Macron was to have a conference call with British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel about half an hour before Trump’s announcement.
Trump spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese leader Xi Jinping about his decision Tuesday. Macron vigorously supports the deal and tried to persuade Trump to stay committed to it during a visit to Washington last month.

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