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US News Europe’s Gamble: Can It Save Iran Deal by Threatening to Kill It?

00:55  19 january  2020
00:55  19 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

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BRUSSELS — Europe is gambling on keeping the 2015 Iran nuclear deal alive by threatening to destroy it — a risky, oddly timed strategy that could backfire badly, European officials and analysts say. The decision by France, Germany and Britain on Tuesday to challenge Iran ’ s breaches of the nuclear

Europe is gambling on keeping the 2015 Iran nuclear deal alive by threatening to destroy it - a risky, oddly timed strategy that could backfire badly, European officials and analysts say.The decision by France, Germany and Britain on Tuesday to challenge Iran ' s breaches of the nuclear agreement

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BRUSSELS — Europe is gambling on keeping the 2015 Iran nuclear deal alive by threatening to destroy it — a risky, oddly timed strategy that could backfire badly, European officials and analysts say.

The decision by France, Germany and Britain on Tuesday to challenge Iran’s breaches of the nuclear agreement and trigger what is known as the dispute resolution mechanism starts a clock that the Europeans may not be able to control, subject to unpredictable actions by the leaders of both Iran and the United States.

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BRUSSELS — Europe is gambling on keeping the 2015 Iran nuclear deal alive by threatening to destroy it — a risky, oddly timed strategy that could backfire badly, European officials and analysts say. The decision by France, Germany and Britain on Tuesday to challenge Iran ’ s breaches of the nuclear

It marks the first time Rouhani has threatened Europe amid tensions with the US, which unilaterally withdrew from the deal in May 2018 under The Iran deal was one of the crowning diplomatic achievement' s of former President Barack Obama' s tenure, but has continued to be a divisive issue in

A photograph released by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran shows part of the country’s Arak nuclear reactor. © Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, via Associated Press A photograph released by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran shows part of the country’s Arak nuclear reactor.

Already the move has angered Iran, which contends its breaches of the accord are justified and that the Europeans are bending toward President Trump and his “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions on Tehran.

The Europeans insist otherwise. But watching Iran and the United States head for a possible military escalation, they are trying at least to avoid an outcome in which Iran moves down the North Korean road toward a nuclear bomb.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend the G7 summit, in Biarritz, France August 24, 2019. Picture taken August 24, 2019. Andrew Parsons/Pool via REUTERS © Thomson Reuters Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend the G7 summit, in Biarritz, France August 24, 2019. Picture taken August 24, 2019. Andrew Parsons/Pool via REUTERS

“If there is a European strategy here, it’s essentially to try to buy time,’’ said Nathalie Tocci, a former adviser to the European Union’s former foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who helped negotiate the 2015 deal with Iran.

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“If you have nuclear weapons you can get love letters from the president, and if you don’t, your generals can get killed .” IAN BOND, the director of foreign policy at the Center for European Reform, on why he believes Iran will accelerate its nuclear program.

Europe could have saved the Iran nuclear agreement. Instead, it abused the rule of law by Since that time, Iran has been gradually stepping away from the restrictions imposed on it , noting each Also on rt.com Iran didn’t want to kill US troops with its strike, it wanted to make point to Trump

“The optimistic scenario is that they’ve done this to keep Trump happy and hope to stretch out the dispute process until the November U.S. elections,” Ms. Tocci said. The Europeans, she said, are wagering that “despite all the pressure on Iran, it won’t use the freedom it’s granted itself’’ to enrich uranium to bomb-ready levels.

Shiite Muslims hold placards to protest against the US military action for the killing of the top Iranian general Qasim Suleimani in Iraq, during a demonstration in Islamabad on January 10, 2020. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images) Shiite Muslims hold placards to protest against the US military action for the killing of the top Iranian general Qasim Suleimani in Iraq, during a demonstration in Islamabad on January 10, 2020. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Europeans also are hoping to induce the United States and Iran to somehow engage in negotiations on an enhanced deal that Mr. Trump can call his own, even if it differs little from the current one, negotiated by President Barack Obama, that limited Iran’s nuclear activities — a deal Mr. Trump has called the worst in history.

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Europe ’ s Gamble : Can It Save Iran Deal by Threatening to Kill It ? A risky strategy to keep the nuclear agreement alive could backfire. The Europeans also are hoping to induce the United States and Iran to somehow engage in negotiations on an enhanced deal that Mr. Trump can call his own

Europe ’ s Gamble : Can It Save Iran Deal by Threatening to Kill It ? The Europeans also are hoping to induce the United States and Iran to somehow engage in negotiations on an enhanced deal that Mr. Trump can call his own, even if it differs little from the current one, negotiated by President

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“But it’s a very high-risk strategy,” Ms. Tocci said. “It’s hard to see Tehran playing ball all the way until November.’’

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell speaks during a debate at the European Parliament on January 14, 2020 in Strasbourg, eastern France. - Borrell urged all parties to the Iran nuclear accord to save it, saying escalating tensions made the deal European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell speaks during a debate at the European Parliament on January 14, 2020 in Strasbourg, eastern France. - Borrell urged all parties to the Iran nuclear accord to save it, saying escalating tensions made the deal "more important than ever." He spoke after Britain, France and Germany formally triggered a dispute mechanism under the accord, after Iran announced its fifth major step back from compliance. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Wendy R. Sherman, a key American negotiator of the 2015 accord, also described the use of the dispute mechanism as “incredibly risky” and said “it will increase the likelihood of the demise” of the deal.

It is hard to see those around Mr. Trump, who have opposed the nuclear deal and supported his maximum pressure campaign, granting Iran any concession to get talks started, said Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Center for European Reform.

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Iran ' s foreign minister urges Europe to defy US if Trump sinks nuclear deal . Even if the JCPOA’ s enemies did not manage to kill it with their first shot, said Reza Marashi, the research “The Iran hawks will try to have multiple bites of the cherry and will keep pushing for more votes,” Marashi said.

Europe , with which Iran has nearly doubled trade in the past year, arguably holds the key to keeping the deal together. Although it cannot persuade everyone in Washington, it can persuade many of them to stay faithful to U. S . commitments. What Trump has made clear is that for Washington to remain in

Mr. Trump’s subordinates appear to believe their strategy is working. Iran’s government and economy are weakened, they note. And they say the United States killing of a top Iranian commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, in Baghdad nearly two weeks ago has deterred Iran in the region, rather than prompting further attempts to expel the Americans from Iraq and Syria.

In this photo released by the official website of the Office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. Iran's president is warning that European soldiers deployed in the Mideast © ASSOCIATED PRESS In this photo released by the official website of the Office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. Iran's president is warning that European soldiers deployed in the Mideast "may be in danger" after Britain, France and Germany challenged Tehran over breaking limits of its 2015 nuclear deal. (Office of the Iranian Presidency via AP)

But others, like Robert Malley, an American who helped negotiate the nuclear deal and now runs the International Crisis Group, say they are not so sure. They expect further retaliation from Iran and from the Iraqi militias it supports, including one led by a commander killed alongside General Suleimani.

In its zeal to pressure the Europeans, a Trump administration official even threatened them with 25 percent tariffs on automobile exports if they did not invoke the dispute provision with Iran, according to a European official — which would be an extraordinary use of economic leverage for a foreign policy goal. The warning, first reported by The Washington Post, was conveyed in a single phone call and was regarded by the Europeans as counterproductive, the European official said.

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Donald Trump threatened the UK with a 25 per cent tariff on its cars unless the British government officially accused Iran of breaking the 2015 nuclear deal It could lead to the reinstatement of United Nations sanctions, but is being framed by the Europeans as the last chance to save the nuclear deal .

“The US government threatens to abandon the JCPOA, although Iran fulfils its obligations under the agreement,” the letter said. An open letter to the US Congress: don’t let Trump rip up the Iran deal | Richard Bacon, Omid Nouripour and Iran nuclear deal talks persist as Trump looks poised to kill it .

Steven Mnuchin et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin outside the White House on Wednesday. © Pete Marovich for The New York Times Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin outside the White House on Wednesday.

An indication of the American administration’s mood came on Wednesday from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said that he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo believed United Nations sanctions on Iran would be swiftly reimposed now that France, Britain and Germany had triggered the dispute-resolution mechanism. The Europeans made that move in response to Iran’s declarations that it would no longer honor the nuclear accord’s limits on Iranian enrichment of uranium — potential fuel for a bomb.

“I’ve had very direct discussions — as well as Secretary Pompeo has — with our counterparts,” Mr. Mnuchin told CNBC. “We look forward to working with them quickly and would expect that the U.N. sanctions will snap back into place.’’

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks from the White House as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens on January 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. During his remarks Trump addressed the Iranian missile attacks that took place last night in Iraq. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks from the White House as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens on January 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. During his remarks Trump addressed the Iranian missile attacks that took place last night in Iraq. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

But that outcome, which would likely terminate the agreement, is precisely what the Europeans say they are trying to avoid. There is nervousness that Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, with his eye on a post-Brexit trade deal with Washington, might crack, but European officials consider that possibility unlikely.

Mr. Johnson and his government support the nuclear deal and collaborated on a statement with France and Germany on Tuesday that said “we are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure on Iran.” On Tuesday, Mr. Johnson urged new talks with Washington and Tehran to try to negotiate a “Trump deal” to supplant the current one.

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Europe and Iran are talking but John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are against the nuclear pact. A 12 May deadline looms. “The Europeans should avoid taking steps that would jeopardise the deal in order to appease Trump, thereby killing the JCPOA in an effort to save it ,” said Robert Malley, a former state

What is the Iran nuclear deal ? Iran and a six-nation negotiating group reached a landmark Critics also say it is another example of Trump dismantling Barack Obama’ s legacy - the Iran deal was his signature foreign policy achievement. Why do others want to save it ? Except for the US, all other

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 14 : People attend the © 2020 Anadolu Agency VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 14 : People attend the "Seventh Day Vigil" for Iran plane crash victims at Civic Plaza in front of North Vancouver City Hall, B.C., Canada on January 14, 2020. A candlelight memorial held in honour of people lost aboard Flight 752. (Photo by Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Under the dispute mechanism, explained Ellie Geranmayeh, an Iran expert with the European Council on Foreign Relations, time limits on discussions can be extended by consent. Any party to the deal can go directly to the United Nations Security Council to request the re-imposition of United Nations sanctions, but no one is expected to do that, unless Mr. Johnson unexpectedly capitulates to Washington.

John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, has argued that the Americans can make this request themselves. The Europeans disagree, saying Mr. Trump’s repudiation of the nuclear accord last year means the United States is no longer a party to it.

Still, Ms. Geranmayeh said, both Iran and the United States are unpredictable. “If there is no diplomacy or something else poisons it militarily, the Europeans have triggered a clock that could end up more quickly at the Security Council,’’ she said.

Protesters chant slogans while holding up posters of Gen. Qassem Soleimani during a demonstration in front of the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. A candlelight ceremony late Saturday in Tehran turned into a protest, with hundreds of people chanting against the country's leaders — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — and police dispersing them with tear gas. Police briefly detained the British ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, who said he went to the Saturday vigil without knowing it would turn into a protest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi) © ASSOCIATED PRESS Protesters chant slogans while holding up posters of Gen. Qassem Soleimani during a demonstration in front of the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. A candlelight ceremony late Saturday in Tehran turned into a protest, with hundreds of people chanting against the country's leaders — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — and police dispersing them with tear gas. Police briefly detained the British ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, who said he went to the Saturday vigil without knowing it would turn into a protest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

The political unrest in Iran, following the killing of General Suleimani and Iran’s accidental shooting down of a civilian airliner, creates enormous uncertainty. The government in Iran is cracking down on protests, and with parliamentary elections next month, hard-line rhetoric is bound to increase.

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The European powers officially see Iran as in breach of the deal which means UN and EU punitive sanctions are now on the table. This came as a “shock” to all three countries, with one top European official calling it essentially “extortion” and a new level of hardball tactics from the Trump administration.

While Iran insists its nuclear work will remain peaceful, its decisions to disregard the nuclear deal’s limits on both the volume and purity of Iranian nuclear fuel have raised worries that the country could amass enough enriched uranium to create a bomb in a matter of months.

In Photos: US-Iran tensions (Picture Services)

“I think the attack on Suleimani will make the Iranians want to accelerate their nuclear program,’’ Mr. Bond said. “They’ve seen Kim Jong-un and the lesson from Trump, which is if you have nuclear weapons you can get love letters from the president, and if you don’t, your generals can get killed.’’

Iran’s first reaction has been relative calm, Ms. Geranmayeh said. “But given the stalemate and the European inability to deliver the economic benefits it promised, Iran could end up by lashing out, and could do so on the nuclear side,’’ she said.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: A demonstration outside the British Embassy in Tehran on Sunday. © Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times A demonstration outside the British Embassy in Tehran on Sunday.

For example, Iran could restrict access to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency or even expel them. “So it could all be worse, and you can’t separate that from the U.S.-Iran confrontation,’’ she said.

Which is why the three European countries are expected to continue to focus on finding an opportunity for a diplomatic breakthrough, as President Emmanuel Macron of France has been trying to do with Washington and Iran since the late summer.

Any new talks would face extraordinary obstacles. Iran says they would require sanctions relief as a precondition, and the Trump administration is instead increasing sanctions on Iran.

Some European officials have speculated that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who has enjoyed some diplomatic successes where Washington has created vacuums, might try to mediate himself.

Mr. Bond said Russia was happy to be aligned with the Europeans on at least this issue, and has benefited from Europe’s split on Iran with the United States. And Moscow, which is a party to the nuclear deal, has made clear it does not want a nuclear-armed Iran.

Protesters chant slogans while holding up posters during a demonstration in front of the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. A candlelight ceremony late Saturday in Tehran turned into a protest, with hundreds of people chanting against the country's leaders — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — and police dispersing them with tear gas. Police briefly detained the British ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, who said he went to the Saturday vigil without knowing it would turn into a protest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi) © ASSOCIATED PRESS Protesters chant slogans while holding up posters during a demonstration in front of the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. A candlelight ceremony late Saturday in Tehran turned into a protest, with hundreds of people chanting against the country's leaders — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — and police dispersing them with tear gas. Police briefly detained the British ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, who said he went to the Saturday vigil without knowing it would turn into a protest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

François Heisbourg, a French defense analyst, said that he could imagine a phased negotiation — first to determine what sanctions Washington could lift as a sign of good faith, then some high-level meeting, much like Mr. Trump had with Mr. Kim.

While Mr. Heisbourg expressed skepticism, he praised the European countries for at least trying to de-escalate the tension while attempting to keep Iran from going down the North Korean path, risking a real war with the United States or Israel.

“This is an unholy mess,’’ he said. “The chance of the Europeans succeeding in a meaningful way to improve matters is very low. But we are in a position to try this. And no one else is even trying.’’

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Gangster threatened to kill terrified neighbour in row over puppy farm kennels .
Scott Bennett built the kennels with no planning permission in front of his neighbour’s home and then warned him “You’re getting your cars blown up. I’ll set your house on fire."Gangster Scott Bennett was brought into court in handcuffs after claiming he was forced to flee to Spain as a result of being issued an “Osman” threat to life warning by police.

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