Israel divided over Donald Trump's withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

Adjust Comment Print

President Donald Trump made the correct decision Tuesday in withdrawing USA participation from the Iran nuclear deal.

The United States plans to impose new sanctions against Iran, which produces around 4 percent of global oil supplies, after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 that curbed Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for removing U.S. -Europe sanctions.

A senior State Department official said discussions with Britain, France and Germany, as well as Japan, Iraq and Israel on next steps had already taken place since US President Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled out of the nuclear pact.

The comments came a day after Trump announced he was withdrawing the US from the accord with Iran, abruptly restoring harsh sanctions in the most consequential foreign policy action of his presidency.

Trump's decision could have explosive consequences, straining long-standing U.S. alliances, disrupting oil markets and boosting tensions in the Middle East, even if the U.S. reversal doesn't lead Iran to restart its atomic program.

China buys the largest share of Iranian oil, and most of the rest is sold to the other top Asian consumers, Japan and South Korea, which have also indicated that they will continue business with Iran despite the USA decision. Iran also must undergo periodic checks from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to confirm on a regular basis that they are in compliance with the deal.

Trump announced America's departure from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, during which he called the seven-nation agreement "a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States", while insinuating that Iran has been enriching more uranium than the worldwide pact allowed, despite American intelligence reporting that the Middle Eastern nation had been obeying the terms of the deal. As Polifact explains in detail, that money was not an outright payment to Iran, but the return of payments that were unfrozen when sanctions were lifted and a refund for weapons the USA never delivered. "I would advise them very strongly". And if they are to continue to submit to the very onerous and intrusive inspection and oversight of their nuclear program, making absolutely sure that there is no way they can ever deviate from the agreement and head towards nuclear weapons, then it's understandable that in return they do want to see some economic benefit.

Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, noted that previous detainee releases from Iran came about because of efforts by another country or direct talks between Iran and the US. The threat of war was receding, and the sanctions that had stifled Iran's economy were soon to be lifted.

Nearly as soon as Trump's announcement was complete, officials from the six other countries involved in the deal ― including Iran - began denouncing the president's decision, restating their intentions to follow through with the agreement, with or without Trump's involvement. "This makes the United States an inciter in this particular case", MP Dmitry Novikov (Communist Party), Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for International Relations, was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that the other signatories are prepared to continue with the JCPOA despite Trump's withdrawal.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 42 cents at $71.56 a barrel.

China's response to the USA sanctions is unclear.

President Trump just blew up one of the most important nuclear arms control deals because he, like, wanted to.

Trump's most legitimate concern is that some of the restrictions on Iran's nuclear capacity "sunset" on certain dates less than 10 years in the future.

GASS: Well, absolutely. What we have is USA secondary sanctions which have extra-territorial force and which will bite on European companies that wish also to operate in the United States.