The coast seems to be clear as Trump ‘may’ exit Iran nuclear deal

United States President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Tuesday (today) that he is pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, European officials said, after they struggled to persuade him that the accord has halted Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

One senior European official closely involved in Iran diplomacy said U.S. officials had indicated late on Monday that Trump would withdraw from the agreement, but it remained unclear on what terms and whether sanctions would be reimposed.

European officials believe Trump may not renew sanctions waivers, a move which would in effect end U.S. participation in the deal. Britain is deeply pessimistic about Trump’s announcement, a senior British diplomat said.

A senior Western diplomat said France, Britain and Germany – also party to the accord – were working on the assumption of a hard U.S. exit after a call last week between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and European officials at which he made clear talks on rescuing the deal would not go further.

“He let it be known that it was over,” the diplomat said.

Such a move could ratchet up tensions in a region riven with interrelated wars, including the multi-layered conflict in Syria, where Iran’s presence has brought it into conflict with Israel.

Word of Trump’s apparent choice coincided with a spate of defiant Iranian statements asserting the deal’s demise would not harm its economy, and Tehran did not fear U.S. military attack.

“Our enemies including America, the Zionist regime (Israel) and (their) allies in the region should know Iran has prepared for the worst scenarios and threats,” Revolutionary Guard deputy commander Hossein Salami said.

Trump planned to discuss his decision in a phone call on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron, a senior White House official said.

Trump has consistently threatened to pull out of the 2015 agreement because it does not address Iran’s ballistic missile program or its role in wars in Syria and Yemen, and does not permanently prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

However, European leaders have warned a U.S. withdrawal would undo years of work that has kept nuclear arms out of Iran’s hands, Reuters report.

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