Europe vows to keep Iran nuclear deal alive but offers no guarantees

Illustration Liu Rui  GT

Illustration Liu Rui GT

Major European powers are seeking to keep Iran in a landmark worldwide nuclear agreement even after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the pact and promised tough economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Germany and France said they would seek to shield European companies from us sanctions, which would prohibit companies that do business in Iran from using the USA financial system.

Bolton struck a more hawkish tone with his comments in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" program than Pompeo did on "Fox News Sunday".

"We feel that the extraterritoriality of their sanction measures are unacceptable".

"After all, Iran is ready to talk".

Responding to the USA move, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, said Europe should not accept the former as the "world's economic policeman", or become nations that "obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their pants".

Germany said it will spend the next few months trying to persuade Washington to change its mind.

A spokesperson for May's office said, "The Prime Minister made clear that the United Kingdom condemns the Iranian missile attacks against Israeli forces and called on Iran to refrain from any further attacks".

"We are extremely happy with Trump's choice which will contribute to fostering world peace", Sulaiman Al-Oqaily, a Riyadh-based political analyst, told The Media Line, adding that the decision would bring stability to the region by limiting Iran's ability to foment unrest through its proxies.

"I'm hopeful in the days and weeks ahead we can come up with a deal that really works, that really protects the world from Iranian bad behaviour, not just their nuclear program, but their missiles and their malign behaviour as well", he said. "Now, that will not happen!"

"The Prime Minister reiterated the government's position on the Iran nuclear deal, noting that we and our European partners remain firmly committed to ensuring the deal is upheld, as the best way of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon", a spokesman said.

"It was a good and constructive meeting", he said, adding that "we are on the right make sure that the interests of the remaining signatories of the JCPOA, especially Iran, will be guaranteed".

"In this time, we'll use all possibilities to persuade the USA government to change its behaviour", he told ZDF television.

Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran deal has left his country diplomatically isolated. Macron told Trump in their telephone call on Saturday that he was anxious about stability in the Middle East, according to Macron's office.

Further evidencing the mood in the Arab Gulf, Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirate's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, wrote on Twitter: "Iran interpreted the JCPOA as concurrence of its regional hegemony". Bolton said on ABC's "This Week". Absent that, Khamenei said Iran "won't stick to the nuclear agreement".

The Washington Free Beacon reports that officials are now mulling a proposal from the Security Studies Group-a small think tank founded by veterans of Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy, a hotbed of paranoid and misinformed policy-that advocates the Trump administration adopt a clear policy of regime change in Iran, including support for groups trying to destabilize the government.

This, along with its diplomatic moves to orchestrate an end to the Syrian conflict, has put Moscow at loggerheads with the U.S. and Europe, which have intervened against the regime.

He said the deal "is based on the balance of obligations" between Tehran and the opposite side, including the U.S., and that after Washington's pullout "this balance is undermined", adding, "We should see how we can secure the interests of the Iranian people".

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