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Trump quits Iran deal

Trump quits Iran deal
None of the US or Trump observers were surprised in the least when the President announced, late on Tuesday, that he was quitting the Iran nuclear deal, pitting him against the United States' closest allies and leaving the future of Tehran's nuclear ambitions in question. "It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement," Trump said from the White House. He went on to threaten new sanctions on the regime. He also warned that any country which helps Iran obtain nuclear weapons would also be "strongly sanctioned." The decision could have explosive consequences, straining longstanding US alliances, disrupting oil markets and boosting tensions in the Middle East, even if the US reversal does not lead Iran to restart its atomic programme. Among other things, this announcement would undermine Washington's credibility in future negotiations, particularly with North Korea, and empower the very hardliners in Iran that Trump vilified. Trump would remain hopelessly isolated on the global stage, where he has angered even the staunchest US allies by reneging on US commitments to the Paris climate accord and pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Some of the US's closest allies – the UK, France, and Germany – issued a statement expressing "regret and concern" about the decision, emphasising Iran's compliance with the deal and their "continuing commitment" to the Joint Commission Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known. Iran's President, Hassan Rouhani, responded by saying he had ordered the country's atomic industry to be ready to restart industrial uranium enrichment, while the country's foreign minister said he would work with the pact's remaining partners, France, UK, Germany, China, and Russia, to see whether they could ensure "full benefits" for Iran. Tensions in the region are high, with US officials citing "concerns" that Iran might attack Israel, without citing their evidence for the claim. Traditional US "foes" were sharply critical underscoring that the US, not Iran, is now technically in violation of the deal. "The position promulgated by Washington represents a significant violation of the JCPOA," the Russian foreign ministry said. However, Trump stuck to his stand with the argument that Tehran had violated the spirit of the deal by fostering discord in the region, supporting groups like Hezbollah, Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Syrian regime. The sanctions could take months to go into effect. But reapplying them will effectively cripple the 2015 accord that Trump had deemed a disaster. Interestingly, there was no Plan B in event of scrapping the present deal. In effect, it is back to square one and to no good.

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