Iran nuclear deal: Global negotiation efforts and reactions peak ahead of Donald Trump decision

Reactions to US President Donald Trump's decision on the Iran nuclear deal are flowing thick and fast as the world holds its breath for the Tuesday 2 pm announcement from the White House. Former secretary of state John Kerry says withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal "doesn't make sense." Trump is set to announce whether the U.S. will exit the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers, in which Iran agreed to curb nuclear enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump's announcement will come after nightfall in Iran.

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

Kerry says he challenges anyone to find an agreement tougher than the one in place now.

President Donald Trump is set to announce Tuesday whether the U.S. will exit the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers, in which Iran agreed to curb nuclear enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Kerry says Iran cannot physically make nuclear weapons right now because it only has the 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of low-enrichment uranium allowed under the agreement.

Meanwhile, French president Emmanuel Macron is making a last ditch attempt to swing Trump away from a possible pull out. Macron vigorously supports the 2015 nuclear deal and tried to persuade Trump to stay committed to it during a visit to Washington last month. Macron suggested there could be a way to move toward a new agreement that would address Trump's concerns as well as Iran's ballistic missile program and involvement in Middle East conflicts.

France played an important role in negotiating the deal, holding an especially tough line against Iran's nuclear activities. Here's all the latest on the looming decision:

Least bad option?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an outspoken opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, but many in Israel's security establishment see it as a least-bad option that should be preserved. Netanyahu says the deal won't prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons in the future, when certain restrictions expire.
But Amos Gilad, a retired senior Israeli defense official, told Israel's Haaretz daily this week that if the U.S. withdraws "they have to prepare for alternatives, and I don't see this being done." He also said the deal allows Israel to "focus on more urgent threats."

European countries underline support

European countries involved in the Iran nuclear agreement have met to underline their support for the pact hours before U.S. President Donald Trump announces whether he will continue to abide by it.
Senior officials from Britain, France and Germany met in Brussels on Tuesday with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, Abbas Araghchi.
In a statement, the Europeans said they "used this opportunity to reiterate their support to the continued full and effective implementation of the (agreement) by all sides."

They are not expected to meet again after Trump's announcement, but EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who helps supervise the deal's application, is likely to hold talks with many involved.

European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said Tuesday that "the agreement is working and our commitment to continue with implementation remains."

She said the International Atomic Energy Agency has certified 10 times that Iran is complying with its obligations.

Trump slams Kerry

Donald Trump says former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "can't get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it" with Iran.

Trump was reacting on Tuesday to reports that Kerry quietly has been promoting the Iran nuclear deal. Kerry was the lead negotiator on the deal for the Obama administration.

On Twitter, Trump added: "Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!"

Only the "naive" would negotiate with US

Iran's first vice president is saying now only the "naive" would negotiate with the United States.

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported the comments on Tuesday from Eshaq Jahangiri, a popular reformist politician who has been suggested as a possible presidential contender in Iran's 2021 election.

ISNA quoted Jahangiri as saying: "Today, the biggest power in the world is yelling that it does not accept it, it's up to them what to do with the deal, but (from now on) naive individuals would accept to enter talks with such a country."

He added: "We are ready and have plan for managing the country under any circumstance."

Jahangiri's comments suggest a coming political turn against any rapprochement with the West if Trump pulls out of the deal, especially as he is a reformist — a politician who advocates for change to Iran's theocratic government

Kremlin warns of serious situation

The Kremlin is warning that a "very serious situation" will emerge if President Donald Trump pulls the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "it goes without saying that there will emerge a very serious situation" should America pull out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Russia was one of the powers involved in the pact, which saw Iran agree to limit its atomic program in exchange for economic sanctions being lifted.

"More unity among Iranians"

Iran's parliamentary speaker says a possible U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal by President Donald Trump will lead to more unity among Iranians.
Tuesday's report by parliament's news website, icana.ir, quotes Ali Larijani as saying: "Mr. Trump: ... Rest assured that this loyalty in nuclear issue will (encourage) the great Iranian nation to continue on the path of the Islamic Revolution firmly behind the leadership of its supreme leader."


Updated Date: May 08, 2018 21:30 PM

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