Iran had never made strategic decision to give up nukes: Bolton

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2018

On May 9, President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal which limited the country's uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief.

The United States' top diplomat said Washington still wants to work with Europe to counter Iran's "malign behaviour" as President Donald Trump called his withdrawal from the landmark nuclear deal key to containing Tehran.

US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal.

Europeans have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around USA sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.

Asked whether or not European countries could face such sanctions, Bolton responded: "It's possible. It depends on the conduct of other governments".

The extraordinary thing is that there is no Plan B. If Donald Trump's re-imposition of American sanctions on Iran does not cause President Hassan Rouhani's government to buckle at once, which is nearly unimaginable, there is nothing else he can do short of going to war with the country. The sanctions will not only bar US companies from doing business with Iran, but they also will hurt European and other companies by prohibiting them from using American banks unless they cut links with Iran. So far, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have all said they want to stay in the Iran deal.

Under the 2015 deal, Iran would reduce its ability to enrich uranium and allow inspections by an independent agency in return for the lifting of strict sanctions which were choking the country's stagnating economy.

"I think that we need more discussion at a higher level with Iran", Paul said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer".

Minister for trade and export David Parker last week said it was still unclear to the nations who remained in the nuclear agreement what exports or trade were at risk when associating with Iran.

The talks were followed by a meeting with the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in an intensive diplomatic effort to shore up agreement over the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Mr Johnson left Brussels without speaking to reporters.

Wang said China will take an "objective, fair and responsible attitude, keep communication and cooperation with all parties concerned, and continue to work to maintain the (Iran nuclear) deal".

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Friday on Europe-1 radio that Europe should not accept that the the "world's economic policeman".

"We're not talking about annexes or modifications of the agreement at all, we're talking about setting up concrete measures" to preserve the deal, Mogherini said. The Trump administration has many pro-Israel and anti-Iran officials.

"We are under no illusions about the stuff Iran gets up to in the region, in the Middle East".

Meanwhile, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran's central bank governor, Valiollah Seif, and Iraq-based Al-Bilad Islamic Bank for "moving millions of dollars" for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, as Washington seeks to cut off funding for what it says is Iran's malign activities in the Middle East.

In a Beijing-based meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi proclaimed that Beijing remains committed to the nuclear accord, echoing the other non-U.S. signatories, which have indicated they intend to keep the pact alive.

Other reports by iNewsToday