Wednesday, 20 November, 2019


Worries in Iran as Trump mulls new nuclear sanctions

Worries in Iran as Trump mulls new nuclear sanctions Worries in Iran as Trump mulls new nuclear sanctions
Bennie Garza | 12 January, 2018, 05:27

Trump must decide by Friday whether to extend the nuclear-related sanctions relief for Iran's central bank or re-impose the restrictions that former President Barack Obama suspended two years ago.

"I don't think we should conflate the two", Goldstein said.

A leading Israeli expert on the Iranian nuclear sanctions, Dr. Gerald Steinberg from the Political Science department of Bar Ilan University, told World Israel News (WIN), "In the last round Trump already changed the rules of the game because he refused to certify that Iran is following the (nuclear) agreement".

Iran has said that if the United States walks away from the agreement, it is ready to give an "appropriate and heavy response".

"The deal is working, it is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check and under close surveillance", Mogherini said after the meeting. If they don't push back against Trump's efforts to sabotage the agreement, they will continue to get pushed around as the deal dies from a million paper cuts rather than a shotgun wound.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif touched on the same theme during his January 10-11 trips to Russia and Belgium to hold talks with his European and Russian counterparts as well as EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

At a news conference afterwards, representatives of the European Union, the UK, France and Germany reiterated their support for the nuclear deal they helped negotiate. At the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in May, Trump tried to persuade European countries to stop making trade and business deals with Iran. The U.S. State Department said it expects a decision to be made later Thursday or by the Friday deadline.

The agreement, she said, is "making the world safer and. preventing a potential nuclear arms race in the region". "We expect all parties to continue to fully implement this agreement".

With new deadlines looming, President Donald Trump plans to again refuse to certify to Congress that the Iranian nuclear disarmament deal is America's best interest - but will stop short of reimposing energy sanctions that could kill the landmark accord, according to a US official involved in the process and a person familiar with the deliberations.

Germany Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that the deal showed that diplomatic approaches to preventing the development of nuclear weapons were possible.

Mr Trump has attacked it as being against United States interests and has now to decide on reimposing restrictions.

Steinberg ventured a prediction, saying, "It's guess work with Trump, but If I had to put money down, and I don't want to, I would estimate that he'll decide to what he did last time, because it worked".

Mr Trump said they included the deal's "sunset clauses", one of which allows for the lifting of restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment programme after 2025. "We do not hide the other points of disagreement that exist", Le Drian said. However, it does so while also considering the efforts of the Europeans to keep the deal working to be insufficient and thus wants Europe to be more active, especially when it comes to financial and banking sanctions targeting Iranian banks.

In exchange, sanctions on Iran's economy were lifted and Tehran was allowed to resume the trading of oil and gas on the global market.

In October, Trump declined to certify that the agreement was in US national security interests despite reports by the United Nations nuclear agency and others that Iran was abiding by the deal. These people are arguing that refusing to issue the waiver would essentially kill the JCPOA, a result they claim would bolster Iran's ruling mullahs and alienate European leaders. That will be coupled with diplomacy with European governments addressing Iran's missile testing and support for the Hezbollah terror group, Shiite rebels in Yemen and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Trump administration explained that the Iranians were violating the "spirit" of the JCPOA through such activities as their test-firing of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and their continued intervention into regional conflicts, often with a specific eye toward undermining Western interests.

The European ministers expressed serious concern about Iran's ballistic missile programme, as well as its alleged transfer of missiles and assistance to non-state entities in the Middle East.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump "still strongly believes this was one of the worst deals of all time".

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