President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, saying he will reinstate economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran, in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activities,” Trump said.
Trump said that the deal “should have never been made. It didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”
4:59 A.M.: Japan says will closely watch impact of U.S. withdrawal from Iran deal (Reuters)
Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Wednesday Japan would closely monitor the impact of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the deal. Kono said Japan would continue close talks with related nations towards maintaining a deal, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Iran’s president warned on Tuesday the country could face “some problems” ahead of President Donald Trump’s decision on whether to pull out of its nuclear deal with world powers.
Without directly naming Trump, Rohani’s remarks at a petroleum conference in Tehran represented the first official Iranian comment on the U.S. president’s overnight tweet that he’d make an announcement on the deal Tuesday.
“It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Rouhani said.
Rohani also stressed Iran wants to keep “working with the world and constructive engagement with the world.” That appeared to be a nod to Europe, which has struck a series of business deals with Iran since the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivered a national address from Tehran shortly after President Trump announced the U.S. will leave the 2015 nuclear deal that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran abandoning its nuclear program. Rouhani said Iran would negotiate with other countries that are party to the deal.
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A “snap-back” in Iran sanctions by the U.S. would almost certainly reduce Iran’s oil exports, further stretching global markets. Oil futures rose above $70 a barrel in New York for the first time in more than three years on Monday as traders speculated about Trump’s intentions. What’s more uncertain is exactly how far Iran’s shipments would fall.
A recent Bloomberg survey predicted Iranian exports would be cut by 500,000 barrels a day. Iran is currently shipping just over 2 million barrels a day. More than half of that goes to China and India, while European Union nations buy about a quarter.
Although America purchases no Iranian oil, that might not matter. If U.S. sanctions put banks, shipping companies, refiners, insurers and ports at risk of losing access to the global banking system, they would have little option but to end their involvement with Iran. Much depends on whether Trump offers waivers and exemptions.
Global Power Balance
On the international stage, the biggest winners from a resumption of American sanctions could be two other signatories to the deal — China and Russia, whose influence has gradually spread in the Middle East as the U.S. scaled back its engagement.
Russia is already fighting, and winning, on the same side as Iran in the Syria conflict. And cold feet among European and U.S. investors could herald a new boom for some Chinese companies, already major investors in Iran, where they have signed multi-billion dollar agreements in the oil, industrial and transportation sectors.
The collapse of the accord could hamper denuclearization efforts, and not just in the Middle East. While President Hassan Rouhani has signaled a route that keeps Iran in the deal, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned that if the U.S. exits, his country might resume its nuclear program. Iranian officials have also threatened to leave the Non-Proliferation Treaty if the deal crumbles. Iran denies its enrichment was ever intended to build weapons as the U.S., Israel and others had charged.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he is “deeply concerned” by the U.S. decision to reinstate sanctions on Iran. Guterres said in a statement the deal “represents a major achievement in nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy and has contributed to regional and international peace and security.” Concerns about the deal should be dealt with through its own mechanisms, and issues not directly related to it “should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments,” Guterres added.
ATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called for a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue following Trump’s announcement.
“As the U.S. withdraws from the Iran deal, we encourage all parties to work for a comprehensive political solution to move Iran further away from developing nuclear weapons,” Stoltenberg said according to NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu. NATO welcomed the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015, and called on Iran to implement it in full,” Lungescu said. “It is not for NATO to assess whether Iran is in compliance with the agreement.”
“Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East,” Barack Obama writes in a statement posted on Facebook.
Germany will try to keep the 2015 Iran nuclear deal alive, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says. “We will try to keep alive this important agreement, which ensures the Middle East and the world as a whole are safer,” Maas told broadcaster ARD.
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