United States says Iran nuclear inspections must continue

Trump Iran sanctions just gave Saudi Arabia and Russia more clout in the oil market, so watch for higher prices

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to quit a multinational nuclear deal would not affect Tehran's oil exports.

Dragged kicking and screaming into five months of negotiations, America's closest allies in Europe had finally agreed in principle to the toughest of Trump's demands. "We are going to engage them constantly, as we have been, to try to get to a place where we come to an agreement that better addresses the totality of the Iranian regime's threat".

Trump walked away from the deal anyway.

After months of bellicose rhetoric between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the USA president in March said the two would meet for a summit, a stunning development South Korea's President Moon Jae-in dubbed a "miracle".

At the time, Trump was poised to "decertify" the deal, a first step toward withdrawing from it.

Today's announcement is not surprising, given the President's repeated threats to the JCPOA, but it is disappointing and potentially disastrous to US interests.

Iran reacted furiously to Trump's decision, with lawmakers burning a USA flag and chanting "Death to America" in the Iranian parliament. Most were not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The two leaders also looked forward to Mr Trump's visit to the United Kingdom in July, Downing Street said.

Tehran agreed in 2015 to curb its uranium enrichment programme in exchange for sanctions relief after mammoth negotiations with the US, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and Russian Federation.

The lack of preparation for a moment the Trump administration has signaled since last October has many experts concerned.

"The kingdom supports and welcomes the steps announced by the us president toward withdrawing from the nuclear deal. and reinstating economic sanctions against Iran", Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said. Siamak, a dual U.S. The third was a nonstarter.

Iran is entirely within its rights in condemning Trump's action. The 2015 accord "is delivering on its goal which is guaranteeing that Iran doesn't develop nuclear weapons, the European Union is determined to preserve it", Mogherini said. The sanctions will not only bar US companies from doing business with Iran, but they also will hurt foreign companies by prohibiting them from using American banks unless they cut links with Iran.

Trump said a deal with Iran would have to include not just deeper restrictions on its nuclear programme, but on its ballistic missiles and support for militant groups across the Middle East.

Other American captives are Xiyue Wang, a Chinese-U.S. citizen who was doing research for his Princeton doctoral degree when he was arrested in 2017, and Morad Tahbaz, an environmentalist detained on espionage charges.

Macron took the lead in trying to persuade Trump not to renounce the accord.

But at the White House, senior staffers were skeptical that anything would satisfy Trump. In 2014, the United States imposed a €7.3 billion fine - the largest in U.S. history - on the French bank over allegations that it broke trade sanctions against Sudan, Iran and Cuba.

However, Mr Rouhani insisted new U.S. sanctions were against global rules and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. "From the moment the U.S. re-establishes the sanctions they had prior to the nuclear accord, any European company with investments or subsidiaries in the USA can be punished for disobeying the United States law banning trade with Iran".

"If at the time of the imposition of sanctions, we had less than a couple of hundred centrifuges, now we have about 20,000", Zarif said in 2014. But it is obvious that much will also depend on whether Europe entertains a more persuasive argument from Iran's allies or its adversaries.

But it's a mistake to apply rational analysis to Trump's action because this was an emotional decision, not a rational one.

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