Will Europe Really Stand Up to Donald Trump on Iran?

Trudeau regrets Trump decision to pull out of Iran nuclear agreement    
     The Canadian PressMay. 9 2018 12:10

The Saudi official, who recently met with new Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo, also applauded the USA commander-in-chief for his decision on the Iran deal - becoming only country apart from Israel expressing its joy over the disturbing development that threatens to shatter the barely-there peace in the conflict-ridden Middle East. The PM used a low-key tone. "And ultimately, if the hard-liners are so empowered by threats of President Trump, you get into a vicious cycle, downward spiral toward confrontation", Kerry said. Afterward, he had nothing to add.

President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord will be hailed by American isolationists as a great, decisive move. Its relationship with Iran is basically frozen.

Obama's deal did nothing to stabilize the region.

And for Mr. Trudeau, there wasn't much to gain politically from making a big noise about Iran.

The Confederation of British Industry said United States sanctions " could significantly impact UK businesses operating in Iran". And Canada's biggest allies, the ones it counts on in global security matters, are divided.

The Iran deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was the thing that stopped the high-stakes drama last time.

This is despite claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in April that Iran is cheating on the nuclear deal by hiding nuclear weapons.

Re-imposing sanctions on Iran may limit their economic prosperity.


U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement that the plan has "successfully prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons". Australia, by the way, also opposed scrapping the deal.

Asked what suggestions the British government would be making to the US administration about the way ahead in dealing with Iran, Johnson talked about the idea of a follow-on agreement that would preserve the central pillars of the JCPOA while addressing other issues beyond the nuclear programme.

Delegates from Mexico City, Ottawa and Washington are now attempting to retool the deal, but they have hit serious stumbling blocks and the talks have been acrimonious in recent months. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson even appeared on Fox & Friends, and wrote an op-ed for the New York Times. Trump's decision has generated a firestorm of commentary about what may come next. A lot depends on the reaction. Mr Trump remained undecided in his speech whether the country was economically weak or enjoying a financial boom as a result of the removal of sanctions. In 2014, the Obama Administration fined BNP Paribas, a French bank, 9.4 billion dollars for violating sanctions on Cuba, Iran, and Sudan.

In response to Trump's withdrawal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran would remain committed to the terms of the JCPOA while it negotiates with the other parties to the deal-China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. In Iran's political system, as Prof. Juneau noted, it's not Mr. Rouhani but Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who decides - probably after a tug-of-war between hard-liners and moderates.

Mr. Trudeau will wait.

Andrew Peek, a deputy USA assistant secretary of state for Iraq and Iran, told CNN the Trump administration believes that by withdrawing from the nuclear pact, the us can "frankly get better comprehensive control" over Iran's ballistic missile tests and military advances in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East through new negotiations with Iran.

Canada's relationship with Iran is already dormant.

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