Gulf Arabs relish Tillerson firing; Iran weighs nuclear deal
Reactions in the Middle East to the firing of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reflect the volatile divide between Iran, where many fear his departure heralds the demise of the 2015 nuclear deal, and Gulf Arab nations hoping for a more hawkish U.S. stance toward Tehran and Qatar.Iran's daily Javad newspaper, believed to be close to the hard-line Revolutionary Guard, said Wednesday that replacing Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo signaled the end of the nuclear deal.
First, Trump wants to penalize Iran for ballistic missiles, which weren’t part of the original deal . But beyond those broad strokes, Trump has refused to give the Europeans or even his own negotiators a clear litmus test for what will be good enough to keep him in the landmark 2015 accord.
First, Mr. Trump wants to penalize Iran for ballistic missiles, which weren't part of the original deal . But beyond those broad strokes, Mr. Trump has refused to give the Europeans or even his own negotiators a clear litmus test for what will be good enough to keep him in the landmark 2015 accord.
WASHINGTON — Trump administration negotiators have a tough sales job as they pressure European allies to accept new restrictions to "fix" the Iran nuclear deal: Even if the Europeans agree, President Donald Trump may blow up the deal anyway.
Iran reacts to Pompeo as Trump's secretary of State pick: 'Cowboyish' and 'eager to start a war'
Iranians braced Wednesday for further turmoil in their country's relationship with the United States, and the possible unraveling of the 2015 nuclear agreement, following President Donald Trump's nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of State. "The hawks overcame the doves in the American administration," a former diplomat, Ali Khorram, wrote in a column in Arman, a daily newspaper aligned with Iranian reformists.Khorram described Pompeo — who once called for military strikes on Iranian nuclear targets — as "cowboyish in character and eager to start a war similar to the war with Iraq.
WASHINGTON — President Trump declared on Tuesday that he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal , unraveling the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor Barack Obama, isolating the United States from its Western allies and sowing uncertainty before a risky nuclear
If a better deal does indeed prove elusive—if Corker and Cotton can’t muster enough votes to amend INARA to Trump ’s liking, if the Europeans and Russians and Chinese refuse to renegotiate, if the Iranians reject harsher terms without corresponding concessions, if Tillerson’s vacancy-plagued State
Given a mid-May deadline by Trump, U.S. negotiators are working with Britain, France and Germany on a follow-on pact that would address Trump's three major complaints. First, Trump wants to penalize Iran for ballistic missiles, which weren't part of the original deal. He also wants to expand access for international nuclear inspectors and prolong the limits on Iran's nuclear activity, currently scheduled to expire in several years.
But beyond those broad strokes, Trump has refused to give the Europeans or even his own negotiators a clear litmus test for what will be good enough to keep him in the landmark 2015 accord. Brian Hook, the State Department policy chief who's running the negotiations, said if there's no agreement by May, Trump will certainly withdraw. If there is an agreement, Trump's advisers will present it to him.
Iran, Yemen in focus as Trump and Saudi crown prince meet
U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday discussed tensions with Iran and a Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen which has come under criticism in Congress. Their talks at the White House were part of the first visit by the prince to the United States since he became the heir apparent last June to succeed King Salman. Prince Mohammed has consolidated power and is likely to rule for many decades if he succeeds his father.
WASHINGTON — President Trump announced on Tuesday that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and is preparing to reinstate all sanctions it had waived as part of the accord. The administration is planning to impose additional economic penalties as well.
WASHINGTON — President Trump announced on Friday his decision to disavow the Iran nuclear agreement, threatening to leave the deal altogether if it was not amended to permanently block Tehran from building nuclear weapons or intercontinental missiles.
"Then he will make a decision on whether he wants to remain in the deal," Hook said Wednesday.
The unusual ultimatum puts America's closest allies in Europe in the uncomfortable position of trying to predict what is likely to satisfy Trump, even as they resent his demand to tinker with the deal in the first place. The European nations only begrudgingly agreed after it became clear that placating the U.S. president was the only way to salvage the deal former President Barack Obama struck with Iran and world powers.
"This is really where the leverage falls through," said Heather Conley, the Europe director at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The Europeans may go out on a limb and still have the president walk away. The Europeans have tried, but they don't know ultimately where he's going to come out on this."
It's far from clear that the U.S. and the Europeans can reach agreement anyway. In talks in European capitals, Hook's team and the Europeans have been haggling over complex sticking points such as what range of ballistic missiles should be penalized — and how.
Khamenei says Iran has foiled US plans in Mideast
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran has neutralised US plans in the Middle East, in a speech Wednesday marking the Persian New Year. Load Error "Those who interfere in all the affairs of the world protest and ask: 'Why does Iran intervene in the affairs of Iraq and Syria?' What is it to you? The Islamic Republic of Iran has succeeded in neutralising US plans in the region," he said.
Trump could buy his team time to continue negotiating a revised deal by giving foreign countries time to comply with restored sanctions. By refusing to waive sanctions without proving that Iran is violating the deal , Trump would effectively drop the agreement made by the United States.
Donald Trump said Tuesday that the US will ‘exit’ the Iran nuclear agreement in violation of the landmark deal .
Hook, briefing reporters on a conference call, referred repeatedly to "long-range" missiles or "ICBMs" as one of Trump's primary concerns. However, congressional Republicans who opposed the agreement, along with some Democrats and other nations in Iran's neighborhood, have told Trump that excluding medium-range missiles leaves them at risk.
According to one outside adviser briefed on the status of the talks, the negotiating team is currently working on a double-pronged "fix" that would separate Iran's missiles into two categories: nuclear-capable long-range, intercontinental ballistic missiles that can hit Europe, and shorter-range projectiles that could hit U.S. allies and friends, including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates as well as American military assets.
Sanctions could be imposed for both, but those for long-range missiles would likely be harsher and kick in more automatically if Iran tested or transferred them. Those sanctions could also target Iranian entities that were exempted from penalties under the nuclear deal.
John Bolton's take-no-prisoners style may prove problematic in the White House
John Bolton, President Donald Trump's new national security adviser, has a take-no-prisoners approach that may prove problematic as he tries to manage a White House riven by leaks and defections. Known for his brash style and bushy mustache, Bolton has been an informal adviser to Trump, a frequent commentator on Fox News and a longtime hawk on Iran, North Korea and other U.S. adversaries.
Trump also criticized the agreement's inspection provisions, which he called inadequate, and its Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be "I believe the best path forward at this point is to continue pushing to fix these flaws as we enforce the
President Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday and delivered familiar — and not entirely accurate — broadsides against the diplomatic agreement he has long called “the worst deal ever.”. Here are some of his claims, fact-checked.
The Iran deal's critics argue the restrictions must cover both long- and medium-range missile tests and transfers, and that the penalties for both should be just as tough. They also want all nuclear-capable missiles to be treated as part of Iran's banned nuclear program, rather than dealt with separately.
Richard Goldberg, an Iran deal foe and former GOP congressional aide, said it was "hard to believe" that Trump would allow Iran more leniency for shorter-range missiles "that can wipe out U.S. bases and allies like Israel."
"That's the kind of thing his predecessor would have done in negotiations," Goldberg said, referring to Obama.
Britain, France and Germany have agreed in principle to punishing Tehran for long-range missiles. But they've been sympathetic to the argument that Iran — which lacks a powerful air force — needs shorter-range missiles for legitimate self-defense, according to European diplomats. It wasn't clear Wednesday whether the Europeans would accept the double-pronged approach on missiles, nor whether Trump himself would sign off on it.
With Iran and fellow deal members Russia and China unlikely to sign on to changes, the U.S. opted to start with the European nations, whose trade and investment Iran covets. The idea was that even if Iran doesn't formally join the add-on agreement, the sanctions relief Tehran is receiving would be incentive enough to get it to voluntarily comply with the new terms.
Iran says Bolton pick as national security adviser a 'matter of shame' .
Iranian officials Sunday described President Trump's decision to appoint John Bolton as U.S. national security adviser as shameful and a sign that Washington intends to overthrow the Tehran theocracy. The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the country's Supreme National Security Council, as saying that for an "apparent superpower it is a matter of shame that its national security adviser receives wages from a terrorist group." Shamkhani was referring to Bolton's attendance at a gathering of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) opposition group in 2017.