August 21, 2018

What Trump's Iran decision means for New Delhi

14 May 2018, 01:07 | Austin Hogan

Trump on Tuesday withdrew the United States from a six-nation agreement with Tehran

Trump on Tuesday withdrew the United States from a six-nation agreement with Tehran

Meanwhile, the Kremlin said that Russian Federation and its ex-Soviet allies will sign a free trade pact with Iran.

The Foreign Secretary told the Fox & Friends morning news show that Iran had been "behaving badly" and flaws in the deal needed to be fixed - but warned Mr Trump against ditching it. Unfortunately, European leaders failed to commit to sufficiently meaningful amendments, especially on the most important element - the sunset clauses of the accord - as well as verification mechanisms, ballistic missiles and development of advanced centrifuges, leaving the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran deal) fatally flawed. While some USA allies such as Japan and South Korea will likely opt not to anger their Big Brother and stop importing oil from Iran, others, such as China and India, will continue buying Iranian crude as they are not dependent on the United States for their national security.

Lord Monroe Palmer of Childs Hill echoed Dalton's sentiments. Iran would only be willing to potentially trade off some of those behaviours if it believed that the USA could be trustworthy in upholding its end of the bargain and had no inclination towards regime change. "But of course Prime Minister Netanyahu knows better!" Iran called Israel's allegations "childish and ridiculous'. Already you have Hezbollah waiting at the frontier". We need tough, smart national security strategies to keep American families safe and I'll do everything I can to accomplish that goal.

Professor Ali Ansari at St Andrews University, who is the founding director of the Institute for Iranian Studies, said Trump's withdrawal weakens moderate voices inside Iran.

The Islamic Republic remains the foremost sponsor of state terrorism.

Ed Royce, the California Republican who chairs the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said Tuesday at a hearing that he anxious that a withdrawal "would actually set back" efforts to toughen the existing deal and add pressures on Iran.

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif‏.

Immediately on returning from North Korea on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will embark on talks with allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia to try to persuade them to press Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs, USA officials said.

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Prior to the deal being struck, Iran was progressing with a nuclear energy plan that world leaders feared could morph into a programme created to manufacture nuclear weapons.

That war would hurt both sides, he said, adding: "Hezbollah's 100,000 missiles deter us, and regardless of our defence infrastructure, the Iron Dome and Arrow [missile defence systems], some will inevitably get through".

Under the previous round of sanctions, India received waivers to purchase oil from Iran in rupees, rather than US dollars, and now pays for Iranian oil using euros via European bank payment channels.

Amidst all the noise, we must keep our eyes on what's important and focus on a broader strategy which addresses Iran's illicit nuclear and non-nuclear activities hand-in-hand with our European, Israeli and Arab allies. "The hardliners will gain weight".

US President Donald Trump may have expected fanfares when he announced the US would be leaving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and certainly Israel, Saudi Arabia, a number of Jewish groups and some foreign policy hawks exulted. "These are not mutually exclusive actions".

The author is the president and CEO of The Israel Project.

Beginning shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, President George W. Bush and top aides made the case for invading Iraq by citing intelligence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had ties to al-Qaeda and was secretly developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

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