Washington : US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he will withdraw his country from the Iran nuclear deal, a decision that immediately drew global frustration and outcry.
The pullout of the US from the deal, which eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country limiting its nuclear program, risks sparking an arms race in the Middle East, experts said, Xinhua news agency reported.
In a televised speech from the White House, Trump announced the exit. He said that he will not sign the waiver of nuke-related sanctions against Iran, but re-impose sanctions lifted under the accord against Tehran and nations it has business links with. Trump repeated his rhetoric against Iran and the deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying it had failed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or supporting terrorism in the region. The JCPOA “allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium” and “lifted crippling economic sanctions” on Iran in exchange for “very weak limits” on its nuclear activity, “and no limits at all” on its efforts to expand regional influences, he said.
“The deal’s sunset provisions are totally unacceptable,” He said. “If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.”
The US will impose “the highest-level” of economic sanctions on Tehran, he said. “Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.”
As for the possible exacerbation of trans-Atlantic division over his decision, Trump only said that “we are unified in our understanding of the threat, and in our conviction that Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon.” Trump’s decision came on the heels of visits to the US by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Macron even proposed a last-ditch side plan to appease Trump, but had failed to convince him. The White House said later that Trump had “directed his administration to immediately begin the process of re-imposing sanctions related to the JCPOA,” and “the re-imposed sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy, such as its energy, petrochemical, and financial sectors.”
US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin noted in an announcement that “sanctions will be reimposed subject to certain 90 day and 180 day wind-down periods”. “At the conclusion of the wind-down periods, the applicable sanctions will come back into full effect. This includes actions under both our primary and secondary sanctions authorities,” he added. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US “will be working with our allies to find a real, comprehensive, and lasting solution to the Iranian threat.”
For his part, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that his country will remain in the deal, adding he has asked the Iranian foreign minister to initiate negotiations with the European partners as well as China and Russia over the fate of the deal.
Israel and Saudi back the landmark deal
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia backed the US President Donald Trump’s decision on his country withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
Saudi Arabia highlighted in a statement through Saudi Press Agency that it also welcomed re-imposing sanctions on Iran that were suspended after the enforcement of the deal. It said the kingdom had supported the deal between Iran and other six powers at the beginning to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and the world, but Iran exploited the economic gains of the deal to destabilize the region.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been urging the US “to fix or nix” the Iranian nuclear deal, has supported President Donald Trump’s “bold decision” to walk out of it, saying the agreement did not reduce Tehran’s aggression but dramatically increased it. Trump has announced that he was withdrawing the US from what he called the “decaying and rotten” Iran nuclear deal signed by the Obama regime in 2015.
Withdrawing from deal is a mistake, says Obama
Washington: Former US President Barack Obama on Wednesday criticised his successor Donald Trump’s “misguided” decision to withdraw from the landmark Iran nuclear deal, saying the move was a “serious mistake” that risks eroding America’s credibility. The Iranian nuclear deal was a signature foreign policy accomplishment of the Obama administration in 2015. It was negotiated and agreed to by Iran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany), granting Tehran sanctions relief and returning frozen assets in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme and international inspections. The 56-year-old former president said without the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the US could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. “I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake,” Obama said in a rare statement.