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Europeans scramble to save Iran deal after Trump reneges

11 May 2018

"It's not about sanctioning foreign companies; it's about using the leverage and engaging the way we did before".

Saudi Arabia supported Trump's decision on the nuclear deal, unlike the United States' allies in Western Europe: the heads of France, the UK, and Germany stated they are committed to upholding the Iran nuclear deal.

A recent revelation from the Israeli government showed that Iran still harboured plans and intentions to keep their nuclear weapons program.

Former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper has added his name to a full-page ad in the New York Times with a message to U.S. President Donald Trump: "You are right about Iran". Trump believes the Iranian leadership will back down and agree to further restraints.

Earlier German Chancellor Angela Merkel said European signatories would "do everything" to ensure the agreement's parameters remain in place.

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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had backed the deal only reluctantly and remained suspicious of Washington, accused Mr Trump of lying, adding: "Mr Trump, I tell you on behalf of the Iranian people: You've made a mistake".

After Trump found flaws within the deal, he carried through with this order to "prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon".

The agreement cleared the way for the lifting of nuclear-related economic sanctions imposed against Iran.

It is clearly shaping up as a discussion that will expose a major cleavage between the US and its G7 partners. But Trump said, "The Iran deal is defective at its core". Actually, that was Iranian money tied up in central and private banks around the world that had been frozen because of sanctions.

Iran's government must now decide whether to follow the US and withdraw or try to salvage what's left with the Europeans.

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The trouble will be to get Indian private sector to invest in Iran, fearing USA sanctions. He predicted Iran would choose to negotiate eventually, or face consequences.

If that fails, the European Union could also use a blocking statute to protect companies conducting business with Iran from U.S. sanctions, as it did when it lifted its own sanctions on Cuba.

The leaders of Britain, Germany and France, signatories to the deal along with China and Russian Federation, said in a joint statement that Mr Trump's decision was a cause for "regret and concern". Protests that spread through several Iranian cities in December and January were linked to stagnation and rising costs of living, as the nuclear deal failed to deliver economic liftoff.

But he has been a staunch advocate of working with allies and became a quiet defender of the Iran deal as Trump mulled pulling out.

The IAEA is responsible for verifying and monitoring Iran's implementation of its nuclear commitments under the plan. Yet the Europeans realized he was unpersuaded.

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Trump's decision marked a stark diplomatic defeat for Europe, whose leaders urged the USA president to think again. In Tehran, Rouhani sought to calm nerves, smiling as he appeared at a petroleum expo.

Europeans scramble to save Iran deal after Trump reneges