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Is Washington Too Focused on Iran's Nuclear Program?

13 May 2018

President Trump's dramatic decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal involves reinstating economic sanctions aimed at hurting the Iranian economy.

Trump and his partner in nuclear armament, Bibi Netanyahu, did everything they could to convince the world that Iran has nuclear weapons and must be stopped.

"The capacity of a nuclear weapon to destroy is just so incredible, and to have more of those being wielded by a state that we don't trust - that is a scary thing", Carter said. Are we simply going to ignore that?

He said: "The consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America's credibility and puts us at odds with the world's major powers".

Trump also pointed to Iran's actions in countries including Syria and Yemen. He's on the line with us. He intends to "impose the "highest level" of economic sanctions on Iran", which will likely hurt the deal for everyone else involved. "I don't think they should do that", Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting.

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Meanwhile, for nations contemplating striking their own sensitive deals with Trump, such as North Korea, the withdrawal will increase suspicions that they can not expect lasting USA fidelity to global agreements it signs. He urged all parties to the agreement to deliver on their commitments.

Chief among the critics was French President Emmanuel Macron, who was Europe's leading emissary to Washington in efforts to defend the deal and who has sought to cultivate a strong personal rapport with Trump.

European companies including carmaker PSA, plane manufacturer Airbus and engineering group Siemens said they were keeping a close eye on the situation. I mean, President Trump seemed open to some kind of new framework. Needless to say, the U.S.is an oil-producing nation, so if you're in the oil and gas industry, this could be a good thing for your company.

USA officials suggested that European allies should begin winding down any ongoing business they have with Iran over the coming months.

"They agreed on the need for calm on all sides and on the importance of tackling Iran's destabilising activity in the region". But those assume that the political will is there to arrive at that type of solution.

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And no amount of pleading by allies who also signed the agreement (Britain, France and Germany), or repeated IAEA reporting that Iran has not violated the pact, nor even Defence Secretary James Mattis's statement that Iran is in compliance, could shake Trump's confidence in his own view and right to have his way, whatever the consequences.

In short, Trump has put the United States in a precarious position with key European allies while potentially opening the door for Iran to pursue nuclear weapons far sooner than the nuclear deal would've allowed.

Despite maintaining that the inspection regime is too weak, AFP reported that US officials nevertheless expect the UN inspections to continue even as the United States moves to reinstitute tough sanctions on Iran.

Although the display from the Iranian lawmakers provides a shocking visual, "Death to America" is a relatively common slogan in Iran, even in parliament, dating back almost four decades.

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Is Washington Too Focused on Iran's Nuclear Program?