US dropping Iran nuke deal strains ties with nations still in agreement

World Today

US dropping Iran nuke deal strains ties with nations still in agreement.02

The White House plans to unveil a “Plan B” to confront Tehran. The Trump Administration dropped the Iran nuclear deal, saying it wants a better agreement.

But analysts suggest the real intent is regime change. While, as CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports, world powers still back the nuclear deal.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump followed through on something he had long threatened. He pulled out of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA. “I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime,” announced Trump.

The remaining countries in the deal, the UK, France, Russia, Germany, China and Iran, pledged to stick to the agreement despite the U.S. withdrawal. Renewed U.S. sanctions could go into effect on August 6th. The European Union tried to shield companies from U.S. sanctions by enacting a regulation that dates back to the 1990s.

“We will begin the ‘blocking statute’ process of 1996, which aims to neutralize the extraterritorial effects of U.S. sanctions in the EU. We must do it,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission’s chief. The 1996 measure would ban European firms from complying with U.S. sanctions. It also allows firms to collect damages and shields companies from adverse court rulings.

But there is limited appetite in Europe to take on the U.S. “We are not going to start a strategic trade war with the United States over Iran. I repeat very clearly, we are not going to sanction or counter-sanction American companies to answer on this subject,” said French President Emmanuel Macron.

Iran said it needs reassurances if it is to keep its part of the deal and not re-start its nuclear program. “There are very clear economic benefits that have been specified in the JCPOA that Iranian people have to receive in order for the balance that was created in the JCPOA and carefully negotiated in the JCPOA to remain. And we will have to see whether our remaining participants in the JCPOA can deliver those benefits to Iran,” said Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister.

In a speech on Monday, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will outline the U.S. plan to forge a new Iran framework that will meet President Trump’s goal: A deal that is permanent, addresses Iran’s non-nuclear ballistic missile program and limits Iran’s involvement in regional conflicts.

The state department said that U.S. allies in Europe largely agree with Trump’s goals for a deal and that renewed sanctions will bring Iran back to the bargaining table. But that is far from certain.

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