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Donald Trump will ignore allies, and his own defense secretary, and withdraw from Iran nuclear accord

Trump breaks with allies as US goes it alone on Iran, Channel News Asia, 13 Oct 17  WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump will unveil a new US Iran strategy on Friday (Oct 13) and is expected to withdraw backing from the Iran nuclear accord, undermining a landmark victory of multilateral diplomacy.White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump would unveil a broad plan to counter Iran at 12.45pm (1645 GMT).

She did not elaborate, but Trump is expected to declare to Congress that retaining the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement is no longer in the US national interest.

This in itself does not mean the deal will collapse. US lawmakers will have 60 days to decide whether they want to “snap back” the sanctions Washington has suspended.

But it will mark a clear break with America’s allies, who have pleaded with Trump to respect the accord, and a fierce blow to the multilateral international order.

The agreement was signed between Iran and six world powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US – at talks coordinated by the European Union.

 UN nuclear inspectors say Iran is meeting the technical requirements of its side of the bargain, dramatically curtailing its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

So, while US officials still insist that “America First” does not mean “America Alone,” on this issue they are starkly isolated. The other signatories all back the deal.

……… On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May called the White House to impress upon it her government’s “strong commitment to the deal alongside our European partners.”

In parallel, her foreign minister, Boris Johnson, told his US counterpart Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “that the nuclear deal was an historic achievement.”

“It was the culmination of 13 years of painstaking diplomacy and has increased security, both in the region and in the UK,” he argued.

But the US administration barely acknowledged the calls, and European diplomats in Washington privately complain that their message is not getting through.

………Last week, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was asked whether he believes the Iran deal remains in the US national interest.

“Yes, senator, I do,” he replied. “I believe at this point in time, absent indication to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with.”……… http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/trump-breaks-with-allies-as-us-goes-it-alone-on-iran-9306184

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October 13, 2017 - Posted by | politics international, USA

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