Is This the End of the Nuclear Deal?

Is This the End of the Nuclear Deal?

One EU diplomat said to the Financial Times: "Whatever the EU can do to protect its investment in Iran will not hold much sway if the USA reimposes sanctions".

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged Donald Trump not to walk away from an global deal created to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

The Israelis made off with a veritable encyclopedia of secrets that the Iranians had stashed in big, refrigerator-like safes in a warehouse in the Shorabad district of Tehran in 2017.

Zarif likened attempts to renegotiate the nuclear deal to reneging on a real estate agreement.

In a message aimed at President Donald Trump and the United States, Iran's foreign minister released a video statement saying that Iran will not "renegotiate or add onto" the nuclear deal it signed with the world powers in 2015. According to the deal, the sanctions against Tehran are being gradually removed in exchange for abandonment of nuclear program.

While the May 12 deadline has been portrayed as a yes-or-no decision for Trump, it's not that simple. If the United States pulls out completely, Tehran could declare the deal dead, blame Washington, and eventually resume its nuclear program. The head of the International Monetary Fund's Middle East and Central Asia operations said Monday that Tehran will need to to accelerate economic reforms, including plans to overhaul its banking system, if the US quits the accord.

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Beyond generally weakening Iran's military capabilities, hard-liners in particular are concerned that negotiating over the country's missile program will allow for a gradual spillover of Israel's sporadic attacks on Syria, which generally avoid worldwide condemnation.

What about the other countries that signed the deal?

Over months of negotiations, they have sought to convince their American interlocutors that adhering to the agreement and working to improve it are preferable to scrapping it altogether. That could be tricky, since those governments and their companies would risk violating USA sanctions.

US and European diplomats have met several times to consider supplemental agreements or other potential improvements to meet Trump's demands. But French President Emmanuel Macron says Trump is not afraid of risking a second showdown: "His experience with North Korea is that when you are very tough, you make the other side move and you can try to go to a good deal or a better deal", Macron said on April 25, after a White House visit.

Russian Federation has echoed the European warnings. While anything can happen inside a White House fueled by chaos, there is no plausible scenario under which the Iran deal survives May 12. It's not known if it's all just rhetoric, particularly because the USA definition of denuclearization has never been shared by North Korea.

The U.N. Security Council endorsed the deal unanimously. The U.S. -plus China, Russia, Germany, France, Britain and the European Union -all have gotten what they asked for.

Technically, Trump must decide by May 12 whether to renew "waivers" suspending some of the USA sanctions on Iran. Anyone holding out hope for a more favorable perception of Iran in the US should prepare to be disappointed.

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