Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Iranian hardliners rejoice over US exit from nuclear deal // Trump Has Wrecked One of the Most Successful Arms-Control Deals in Modern History

Hardliners in Iran are rejoicing at Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally pull the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose economic sanctions, and seizing on an opportunity to consolidate their power over reformists who championed the pact. The commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards “congratulated” the nation on the US exit from the deal. According to the semi-official Fars news agency, the commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari said: “I congratulate and take into a good deed the vicious withdrawal of the US from JCPOA, which was not credible even before the withdrawal … It was proved once more that US isn’t trustworthy in regards its commitments.”

At the opening session of the Iranian parliament on Wednesday, a group of hardline MPs held up a paper US flag and the text of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal, also known as the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), before setting fire to both while chanting “death to America”. The MPs’ protest, which came a day after the US president broke with European allies over what he said was a “horrible, one-sided” agreement, was a nod to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had said in June 2016, prior to Trump’s election, that if the Americans “tear it up, we will set it on fire”...  Ali Larijani, the speaker of the parliament, said Tehran would wait to gauge how the Europeans partners in the nuclear talks would handle the US exit from the deal. His comments echoed those of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, who has said the agreement could survive if Europe defies Trump.

“Europe must prove that it is capable of throwing its weight behind settling our issues,” Larijani told MPs on Wednesday, according to the Mehr news agency. “The American nation has been saddled with an egotistical and amateurish politician.” Larijani said Trump was overjoyed that he was “plundering some short-sighted regional countries” – a reference to Israel and Saudi Arabia – “for the price of ignoring their wicked actions in the region”... read more:

Europe must make Trump pay for wrecking the Iran nuclear deal

Trump Has Wrecked One of the Most Successful Arms-Control Deals in Modern History
With his decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, President Trump has committed his most irresponsible act in foreign policy to date. The move—which Trump took against the urgings of European heads of state, Israeli security officials, dozens of current and former diplomats, his own secretary of defense, and even the conservative chairman of the House Armed Services Committee—can only be attributed to one or more of three motives: a misunderstanding of the deal’s terms, a need to torpedo yet another one of President Obama’s accomplishments, or a desire to weaken or destroy the government of Iran.

Trump claimed in his televised speech today that Iran is cheating on the deal, but his own intelligence directors have said there is no evidence of this claim whatsoever. The International Atomic Energy Agency has certified Iran’s compliance 10 times since the deal was signed. Secretary of Defense James Mattis testified to a Senate committee last month that, after reading the 140-page agreement three times, he was struck by how “robust” the deal’s verification provisions were.

It’s also the case that the most influential backers of Trump’s decision—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, and the Sunni Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia—are fervent advocates of regime change in Iran, by force if necessary. From early on in his presidential campaign, Trump promised to kill the accord, which he has repeatedly called “the worst deal” ever “drawn up by anybody.” Here is where ignorance enters the picture.. read more: