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Report from International Atomic Energy Agency: Iran is sticking to the nuclear agreement

Iran sticks to key limits of nuclear deal: U.N. watchdog report https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear/iran-sticks-to-key-limits-of-nuclear-deal-u-n-watchdog-report-idUSKBN1DD1RS, Shadia Nasralla, VIENNA (Reuters) 14 Nov 17- Iran has remained within the main limits on its nuclear activity set by its 2015 deal with six world powers, the U.N. atomic watchdog said in its first report since U.S. President Donald Trump decertified Iranian compliance with the terms.

 Iran undertook to curb its uranium enrichment program in return for relief from international sanctions that crippled its economy, and U.N. nuclear inspectors have repeatedly verified Tehran’s adherence to the key aspects of the accord.
 Trump has called the agreement between Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union “the worst deal ever” and he disavowed Iran’s compliance last month. His decision did not constitute a U.S. exit from the accord but raised concern about its staying power.

Trump’s move, at odds with the commitment of the other parties to the deal, meant the U.S. Congress must decide by mid-December whether to reimpose economic sanctions lifted under the accord, reached under his predecessor Barack Obama.

If Congress reimposes the sanctions, the United States would in effect be in violation of the deal and it would likely fall apart. If lawmakers do nothing, the deal remains in place.

In response, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Tehran will stick to the nuclear accord as long as the other signatories respected it, but would “shred” the deal if Washington pulled out.

If the deal unravels, it would strengthen hardline opponents of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s pragmatist president who opened up diplomatic channels to Western powers to enable nuclear diplomacy after years of worsening confrontation.

Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium as of Nov. 5 was 96.7 kg (213.2 pounds), well below a 202.8-kg limit set by the deal, and the level of enrichment did not exceed a maximum 3.67 percent cap, said the confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report sent to IAEA member states and seen by Reuters.

Iran’s stock of so-called heavy water, a moderator used in a type of reactor that can produce plutonium, a potential nuclear bomb fuel, stood at 114.4 metric tonnes, below a 130-tonne limit agreed by the parties to the deal.

The 3.67 percent enrichment and 202-kg stockpile limit on uranium, and the 130-tonne cap on heavy water, aim to ensure that Iran does not amass enough material of sufficient fissile purity to produce a nuclear bomb. Such a device requires uranium to be refined to around 90 percent purity.

 IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told Reuters in September he would welcome clarification from the powers on how the agency should monitor Iran’s implementation of the so-called Section T of the nuclear pact that deals with certain technologies that could be used to develop an atom bomb.

Russia had been critical of the agency’s monitoring of Section T provisions, but Monday’s report said the IAEA had verified Iran’s commitment to the section.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Mark Heinrich

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November 15, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Trump and CIA planning war on Iran?

Trump’s CIA Is Laying the Groundwork for a Devastating War on Iran, with Help from Neocon Think Tank, By Ben Norton, Global Research,  AlterNet 10 November 2017

An ex-CIA analyst has raised suspicions about the CIA’s release of bin Laden documents and apparent collaboration with the hard-right organization Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The Central Intelligence Agency appears to have collaborated with the neoconservative think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies to try to link Iran to the Salafi-jihadist group al-Qaeda.

Ned Price, a former CIA analyst and spokesman, has suggested that the move may be part of a wider campaign by the Trump administration’s new CIA director to establish “a rationale for regime change” in Tehran.

In the lead-up to the illegal 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the effort to link Baghdad to al-Qaeda was “a key element of the march to war,” Price explained, implying that the Trump administration might be doing something similar with Iran.

President Donald Trump has, since the beginning of his term, made aggressive opposition to Iran a key feature of his foreign policy. He has surrounded himself with anti-Iran hawks in the White House, and pledged to unilaterally “tear up” the nuclear deal agreed to by major world powers.

Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. proxy in the Middle East, has in recent weeks escalated its campaign against Iran. The Saudi monarchy pressured Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign, and has been accused of holding him hostage. The kingdom then effectively declared war on Lebanon, in the name of countering Iran and its ally Hezbollah.

President Trump has praised Saudi Arabia’s belligerent intervention and foreign meddling, even while accusing Tehran of doing exactly what Riyadh is doing. The U.S. government is working very closely with the Saudi monarchy and Israel to, in Trump’s words, “counter the regime’s destabilizing activity.”

Supposed Al Qaeda links

To justify these aggressive actions, the Trump administration has tried to link Iran to al-Qaeda.

The neoconservative think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies published an article November 1 that aimed to highlight the alleged connections between the two. In order to do so, the staunch right-wing organization cited previously unreleased CIA documents that had allegedly been collected in the May 2011 U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) indicated in the post, “The CIA provided FDD’s Long War Journal with an advance copy of many of the files.”

The right-wing think tank’s Long War Journal project subsequently stressed that the documents purportedly “show Iran facilitated AQ at times.” The Long War Journal also claimed that several al-Qaeda leaders lived in Iran, where they were allegedly detained at the time.

Next, Long War Journal editors Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio conducted a lengthy interview with conservative radio host John Batchelor, in which they hammered on bin Laden’s supposed connections to Iran.

FDD has for years advocated for aggressive U.S. action, including military options, against Iran. It is one of the leading anti-Iran voices in the Beltway’s constellation of neoconservative think tanks. Funded in the past by the billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a confidant of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, FDD has been on the front lines of the campaign to undermine the Iran nuclear deal, which the far-right U.S. president has promised to “tear up.”

Suspicious bin Laden leaks

Former CIA analyst Ned Price has spoken out about the agency’s apparent collaboration with FDD, highlighting the anxiety that is consuming a wing of the foreign policy establishment over Trump’s hostile moves against Iran……….https://www.globalresearch.ca/trumps-cia-is-laying-the-groundwork-for-a-devastating-war-on-iran-with-help-from-neocon-think-tank/5617886

November 13, 2017 Posted by | Iran, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Iran criticises rich nations over climate talks

Iran slams rich nations over climate talks  http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/11/12/iran-slams-rich-nations-over-climate-talks   Iran and its fellow developing countries have accused the world’s richest nations of eroding trust and trying to undermine talks about the Paris agreement.   Iran has delivered a blistering assessment of the world’s richest countries’ performance during UN climate negotiations, accusing them of eroding trust and censoring developing nations.

In an unusually strong statement, Iran’s representative told talks in Bonn on Saturday the group of more than 20 like-minded developing countries it spoke for believed others were trying to rewrite the Paris agreement.

The agreement, like the UN climate convention, only worked when all parties had trust in each other and worked together in good faith, he said.

“So soon after the Paris agreement entered into force we are already seeing that trust and good faith being eroded by constant attempts to move away from prior agreements, solemn pledges and treaty obligations,” he said.

“This does not lay a good foundation for long-lasting, equitable and durable action on climate change.”

And in negotiations over finance, technology and building the capacity of nations to cut emissions, suggestions put forward by developing country blocs were “immediately rejected outright by developed countries”.

“What we are seeing now is a concerted effort by developed countries to drop G77 and LMDC proposals from the table in order to focus further negotiations only on developed countries’ positions,” Iran’s representative said.

“Censoring other parties’ views from being included into negotiating text as the basis of negotiations is clearly not in good faith.”

The Saturday evening session was designed as a mid-COP23 update on the various negotiation bodies that have been working on different aspects of implementing the Paris agreement.

While the chairs of each of the bodies generally gave the impression good progress was being made, almost all the country groups said they were disappointed or concerned about the slow pace.

Ecuador said its G77+China group – representing 134 developing countries – was especially worried about the lack of progress on all financial matters.

This concern was echoed by Mali on behalf of African countries.

Finance is important to developing countries, who cannot afford on their own to cut emissions or adapt to climate change.

“One component is still missing – not from (Fiji) but from our developed country parties – and that is the political will that is needed to engage constructively towards the highest priority of ensuring a balanced progress on all agenda items,” Ecuador official Walter Schuldt said.

And the Maldives, speaking for small island states, accused some countries of taking a “seemingly hard stance” by wanting to limit access to finance.

Australian environment ambassador Patrick Suckling said its Umbrella Group of non-EU developed countries – including the US, Canada and New Zealand – was generally heartened that everyone at the negotiations wanted to see progress.

But Australia’s bloc was disappointed by persistent efforts from some countries to work outside the mandates of the Paris agreement.

Tension has arisen over adding extra items to the official agenda, including a formal discussion about increasing pledges for action before the Paris deal starts in 2020.

“(This) is hampering the very progress we are seeking,” Mr Suckling said.

The European Union said it did not recognise any lack of political will during negotiations and there was no disagreement about the urgency of pre-2020 action – only what form discussions should take.

Morocco, which has been working with countries on a solution to this dispute, also reported there was a clearly unanimous view on the importance of early action on climate change.

It said there was no consensus yet but was convinced once could be reached.

Greenpeace’s Jens Mattias Clausen said giving space to constructive discussions about pre-2020 ambitions was a way developed countries could show good faith to their partners.

“These discussions need to take place now, not only on climate action but also on issues such as the adaptation fund, to build trust and ensure that vulnerable countries will get the help they need,” he told AAP.

November 13, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

USA lawmakers intend to comply with Iran nuclear deal

U.S. lawmakers aim to comply with Iran nuclear deal: EU http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-asia-japan/trump-says-japan-would-shoot-north-korean-missiles-out-of-sky-if-it-bought-u-s-weaponry-idUSKBN1D602F, Reuters Staff,  Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang, WASHINGTON (Reuters) 7 Nov 17,  – U.S. lawmakers signaled they plan to ensure the United States complies with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s misgivings about the pact, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Tuesday.

“I got clear indications that the intention is to keep the United States compliant with the agreement,” EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters at a news conference in Washington.

Trump on Oct. 13 dealt a blow to the pact by refusing to certify that Tehran was complying with the accord even though international inspectors say it was.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

Trump’s decision has thrown into doubt the future of the pact negotiated by Iran, the EU and six major powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. Congress has until mid-December to decide whether to reimpose sanctions lifted under the deal, something few diplomats expect.

Mogherini, one of the negotiators of the agreement, sought to avoid publicly becoming embroiled in the debate among U.S. lawmakers about what kind of legislation, if any, to pass regarding the nuclear deal even as she stressed the EU’s desire to see the United States stick with it.

“I made clear any outcome of any process – that is an internal process and as such has to be respected – has to be, at the end of the day, compliant with the deal,” she said. She added that she had voiced her willingness to help U.S. lawmakers “find solutions that are compatible” with U.S. compliance under the agreement.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

French President agrees with Russia’s Putin on need to preserve the Iran nuclear deal

Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron team up to prevent NUCLEAR FALL-OUT
FEARS of a nuclear fall-out between Iran and the US has led to Vladimir Putin forming an unlikely alliance with France’s Emmanuel Macron. 
By DAN FALVEY Mr Putin teamed up with the French President to try and ease escalating tensions surrounding Iran’s nuclear capabilities. It comes as Donald Trump accused Iran of not upholding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear agreement, with the UK, US, Russia, France, China, and Germany in 2015 which aims to limit the country’s nuclear arsenal.

However, fears that the deal could collapse have increased in recent months after the US President threatened not to sign off on the agreement claiming that Iran had broken parts of the pact. Mr Putin and his French counterpart spoke on the phone yesterday to reaffirm their support for the implementation of the deal.

A press statement released by the Kremlin said the Russian leader and Mr Macron agreed on the importance that the deal went ahead.

It said: “The leaders spoke in favour of a thorough implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to resolve the situation around the Iranian nuclear program.” The Kremlin statement went on to say that it was “crucial” any attempts by one country to change the deal were ignored…….http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/874895/Vladimir-Putin-Emmanuel-Macron-Russia-France-War-Nuclear-Fallout-Iran-Donald-Trump

November 4, 2017 Posted by | France, Iran, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to USA in bid to save the Iran nuclear agreement

Boris Johnson to travel to US in bid to save Iran nuclear deal
Foreign secretary will try to convince senators to back deal he has labelled ‘an amazing triumph of diplomacy’, which Donald Trump is threatening to repeal,
Guardian, Patrick Wintour, 2 Nov 17,  Boris Johnson will travel to Washington next week in a bid to persuade US senators not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal or to impose fresh sanctions against Tehran that could jeopardise the deal…….

He said the 80 million Iranians “deserve and need to feel the benefits of both the deal and engagement”, adding that “the International Atomic Energy Authority has found the Iranians in compliance”. The country had a potentially extraordinary future, he said……. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/02/boris-johnson-to-travel-to-us-in-bid-to-save-iran-nuclear-deal

November 3, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano says ‘no problems” in checking Iran’s nuclear facilities

UN Nuclear Inspections Chief Sees No Problems Checking Facilities In Iran, Radio Free Europe, 1 Nov 17, United Nations nuclear inspectors have encountered no problems in checking facilities in Iran to determine whether Tehran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, the head of the UN’s atomic energy agency has said.

“Our inspectors are discharging their responsibilities without problem,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano told reporters in Abu Dhabi on the sidelines of a conference on nuclear power on October 30…….

Amano on October 30 repeated his assessment that Tehran is keeping its commitments under the agreement one day after stating that conclusion after meeting with Iranian leaders in Tehran.

“I requested that Iran…fully implement the nuclear-related commitments. This [was] the main thrust of the meeting in Iran,” Amano said. “The IAEA can state that such nuclear-related commitments are being implemented.” https://www.rferl.org/a/un-nuclear-inspections-chief-amano-sees-no-problems-checking-facilities-iran/28825431.html

November 2, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Iran is living up to nuclear deal – says IAEA’s Yukiya Amano

IAEA’s Yukiya Amano: Iran is living up to nuclear deal, AlJazeera, by Zein Basravi, 29 Oct 17, Tehran, Iran – What would have been a routine visit by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) became a public relations opportunity for the Iranian government.

Yukiya Amano was in Tehran on Sunday, his first visit since US President Donald Trump told Congress that Iran is not complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the 2015 nuclear deal.

The IAEA chief put a positive face on proceedings, but the stakes are high. This time, his verification of compliance was a moment of vindication for Iran and another international rebuke of the White House.

“Ladies and gentleman, I am very happy to come to your country again,” Amano said during a press conference at Iran’s nuclear agency.

“Since January 2016, the IAEA has been monitoring and verifying the nuclear related commitments made by Iran under the JCPOA. The IAEA believes that the JCPOA is a significant gain for verification. The IAEA can state that the nuclear-related commitments made by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented,” he added.

‘Message to Trump’

There was no ambiguity in his comments to journalists. There was even a message that sounded tailor-made for Trump.

“The most important thing is to be factual,” Amano said. …… http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/iaea-yukiya-amano-iran-living-nuclear-deal-171029121448119.html

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

IAEA boss Yukiya Amano to visit Iran

U.N. nuclear chief to visit Iran this weekend http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-iaea/u-n-nuclear-chief-to-visit-iran-this-weekend-idUSKBN1CU2KZ?il=0, Reuters Staff VIENNA (Reuters) 26 Oct 17,  – The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog will visit Iran on Sunday for talks with senior officials there, as opposition from the United States threatens to undermine an international accord to curtail Iran’s nuclear program. Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, will discuss Iran’s implementation of the 2015 agreement, the IAEA said on Wednesday.

The visit comes during a dispute between Washington and Tehran over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision this month not to certify Iranian compliance with the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

The U.S. Congress now has less than 60 days to decide whether to re-impose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the deal, in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities.

Amano, whose agency is in charge of policing those restrictions, has defended the agreement as a “net gain” for nuclear verification and said Iran’s commitments under the deal are being implemented.

The IAEA did not mention Trump’s refusal to certify Iran was complying with the agreement. European Union leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to the accord, hoping that Congress will prevent the deal from collapsing.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Tehran will stick to the agreement as long as the other signatories do, but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out, as Trump has threatened to do.

Reporting by Francois Murphy, editing by Larry King

October 27, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Death sentence for man found guilty over Iran nuclear scientist killings

Iran sentences ‘Mossad agent’ to death over nuclear scientist killings, SMH, Bozorgmehr Sharafedin , 25 Oct 17,  London: Iran has sentenced to death a person found guilty of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists, Tehran’s prosecutor has said.

Dolatabadi did not identify the defendant on Tuesday, but Amnesty International said Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian doctor who studied and taught in Sweden, had been sentenced to death in Iran on espionage charges.

At least four scientists were killed between 2010 and 2012 in what Tehran said was a program of assassinations aimed at sabotaging its nuclear energy program. Iran hanged one man in 2012 over the killings, saying he had links to Israel.

On the latest conviction, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi told the judiciary’s news agency: “The person had several meetings with [Israeli intelligence agency] Mossad and provided them with sensitive information about Iran’s military and nuclear sites in return for money and residency in Sweden”…….

Djalali, a doctor and lecturer at Stockholm medical university the Karolinska Institute, was arrested in April 2016 and held without access to a lawyer for seven months, three of which were in solitary confinement, according to London-based Amnesty.

“Djalali was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial that once again exposes not only the Iranian authorities’ steadfast commitment to (the) use of the death penalty but their utter contempt for the rule of law,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East advocacy director……..http://www.smh.com.au/world/iran-sentences-mossad-agent-to-death-over-nuclear-scientist-killings-20171025-gz7pnc.html

October 27, 2017 Posted by | Iran, Legal | Leave a comment

Quitting Iran deal would ruin 12yrs’ work, threaten nuclear war – ICAN

Quitting Iran deal would ruin 12yrs’ work, threaten nuclear war – rep for Nobel Peace Prize-winner Rt.com,  17 Oct, 2017

Washington’s threats to walk out of the Iran nuclear deal is a critical moment for global nuclear non-proliferation, as it risks uprooting over a decade of diplomatic work and bring the world on the verge of a nuclear war, Jean-Marie Collin of ICAN France told RT.

Collin, coordinator of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for France, which was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, told RT he believes the US is putting the world’s safety in jeopardy by threatening to quit the nuclear deal.

Defending the agreement, Collin argued that no deal could possibly please all sides, as the ability to compromise lies in the nature of every agreement.

“Maybe it’s not the best agreement that we obtained, but you know, an agreement is never the best,” he said, adding that the deal should be considered a success as it reduces the chances of a major nuclear conflict breaking out.

“The important fact is that we arrived [there] after 12 years of diplomatic work, we did not have any war, we did not have any conflict with Iran and the rest of the world,” Collin said.

The deal stuck between Iran and the US, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany in 2015 should not be a subject to revision, as it would undermine the result of a decades-long negotiation process, Collin said, saying “the deal is the deal.”

You cannot ask to revise the deal,” he stressed, pointing out that it will be possible to renegotiate some of the provisions only after they expire in 2025, but not before.

“Maybe some state will want to add some new paragraphs, some new rules, it’s a possibility we cannot deny just now 10 years before,” he said.

Meanwhile, the statements by US President Donald Trump leave the deal’s fate hanging in the balance, Collin argued, as after Washington withdraws, Tehran will follow suit…….https://www.rt.com/news/406929-iran-deal-revise-ican/

October 18, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

European Union statement on the Iran nuclear Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

Iran nuclear deal: EU statement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action  http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/10/16-iran-nuclear-deal-eu-jcpoa/

1. The JCPOA, the culmination of 12 years of diplomacy facilitated by the EU, unanimously endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, is a key element of the nuclear non-proliferation global architecture and crucial for the security of the region. Its successful implementation continues to ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme remains exclusively peaceful. The EU underlines that the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified 8 times that Iran is implementing all its nuclear related commitments following a comprehensive and strict monitoring system.

2. The EU is committed to the continued full and effective implementation of all parts of the JCPOA. The EU underlines that the lifting of nuclear related sanctions has a positive impact on trade and economic relations with Iran including benefits for the Iranian people. It strengthens cooperation and allows for continuous dialogue with Iran.

3. The European Union considers President Trump’s decision not to certify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA) as being in the context of an internal US process. The EU encourages the US to maintain its commitment to the JCPOA and to consider the implications for the security of the US, its partners and the region before taking further steps.

4. While the EU expresses its concerns related to ballistic missiles and increasing  tensions in the region, it reiterates the need to address them outside the JCPOA, in the relevant formats and fora . The EU stands ready to actively promote and support initiatives to ensure a more stable, peaceful and secure regional environment.

5. At a time of acute nuclear threat the EU is determined to preserve the JCPOA as a key pillar of the international non-proliferation architecture.

October 18, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Trump’s anti-Iran speech, decertifying nuclear agreement, will cause problems with America’s European allies

Iran nuclear deal: Trump decertifies Obama-era agreement and accuses Tehran of spreading ‘death and chaos’ The President’s more confrontational strategy toward Iran is likely to complicate relations with European allies, Independent UK,  Alexandra Wilts Washington DC , 14 Oct 17, Donald Trump has struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement – in defiance of other world powers – by choosing not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal.

During a speech at the White House, Mr Trump accused the “fanatical regime” in the Iranian capital of spreading “death, destruction and chaos around the globe” as he again called the nuclear pact “one of the worst” agreements the US has ever entered into.

However, he stopped short of scrapping the agreement altogether, saying he wanted his administration to work with Congress and other nations to address the “deal’s many serious flaws”. ……Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief and one of the deal’s chief negotiators, said the agreement will remain valid regardless of Mr Trump’s decision. ……
The move by Mr Trump was part of his “America First” approach to international agreements which has led him to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico……

Mr Trump’s more confrontational strategy toward Iran is likely to complicate relations with European allies while strengthening ties with Israel.A vocal opponent of the agreement when it was signed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Mr Trump’s “courageous” decision.

“I congratulate President Trump for his courageous decision today. He boldly confronted Iran’s terrorist regime,” the prime minister said in a video statement he released in English.

But both UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron this week had tried to persuade Mr Trump to re-certify the deal. Ms May has called the agreement “vital”, while Mr Macron has said it is “essential for peace”. …….

Russia’s foreign ministry said there was no place in international diplomacy for threatening and aggressive rhetoric such as that displayed by Mr Trump and said such methods were “doomed to fail”, in a statement issued after Mr Trump’s speech……

John McLaughlin, a former acting CIA director under Republican President George W Bush, called the decertification of the Iran deal one of Mr Trump’s “worst decisions”.

The decision “feeds Iran hardliners, splits allies, shreds US credibility, roils congress [and is a] gift to Russia,” he wrote on Twitter. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/iran-nuclear-deal-donald-trump-decertifies-agreement-2015-policy-obama-a7999451.html

October 14, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Fact checking Donald Trump’s statements on Iran

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s statements on Iran http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-4978836/AP-FACT-CHECK-Trumps-statements-Iran.html

By Associated Press 14 October 2017,  WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump offered a questionable reading of Iran’s past economic condition Friday when he blamed the Obama administration for lifting sanctions just as Iran’s government was facing “total collapse.”

A look at some of his points in remarks Friday that denounced Iran’s behavior but stopped short of fulfilling his campaign promise to get the U.S. out of the multinational deal that eased sanctions on Iran in return for a suspension of its nuclear program:

TRUMP: “The previous administration lifted these sanctions, just before what would have been the total collapse of the Iranian regime.”

THE FACTS: An imminent collapse of Iran’s economy was highly unlikely, according to international economists and U.S. officials.

International penalties on Iran in response to its nuclear program did drive its economy into crisis earlier this decade. But even before the nuclear deal, Iran had cut budget expenditures and fixed its balance of payments. It was still exporting oil and importing products from countries such as Japan and China.

The multinational deal froze Iran’s nuclear program in return for an end to a variety of oil, trade and financial sanctions on Tehran. Iran also regained access to frozen assets held abroad. The deal was conceivably an economic lifeline for the state, but international economists as well as U.S. officials did not foresee an imminent economic collapse at the time.

Among those experts, Patrick Clawson at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said Iran’s leaders worried about the potential for social unrest at the time, but that the economy was sustainable.

TRUMP: “The Iranian regime has committed multiple violations of the agreement. For example, on two separate occasions, they have exceeded the limit of 130 metric tons of heavy water.”

THE FACTS: Iran is meeting all of its obligations under the deal, according to International Atomic Energy Agency investigators, who noted some minor violations that were quickly corrected.

Trump is right that Iran exceeded the limit on heavy water in its possession on two occasions. Both times, international inspectors were able to see that Iran made arrangements to ship the excess out of the country so that it could come back into compliance.

Deal supporters argue this shows the agreement works. Deal opponents say that because Iran sells the surplus on the open market, Iran is therefore being rewarded for violating the deal.

Trump and other critics of the agreement point in particular to Iran’s continuing missile tests, which may or may not defy the U.N. Security Council resolution that enshrined the deal. But those tests do not violate the deal itself.

TRUMP on the deal: “It also gave the regime an immediate financial boost and over $100 billion its government could use to fund terrorism. The regime also received a massive cash settlement of $1.7 billion from the United States, a large portion of which was physically loaded onto an airplane and flown into Iran.”

THE FACTS: The “financial boost” was from money that was Iran’s to begin with. It was not a payout from the U.S. or others but an unfreezing of Iranian assets held abroad.

The $1.7 billion from the U.S. is a separate matter. That dates to the 1970s, when Iran paid the U.S. $400 million for military equipment that was never delivered because the government was overthrown and diplomatic relations ruptured.

The rupture left people, businesses and governments in each country indebted to partners in the other, and these complex claims took decades to sort out in tribunals and arbitration. For its part, Iran paid settlements of more than $2.5 billion to American people and businesses.

The day after the nuclear deal was implemented, the U.S. and Iran announced they had settled the claim over the 1970s military equipment order, with the U.S. agreeing to pay the $400 million principal along with $1.3 billion in interest. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

October 14, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Iran might walk away from the nuclear agreement, if it does not serve the country’s national interests

Rouhani says Iran will stay in nuclear deal only if it serves interests – TV, Parisa Hafezi, ANKARA (Reuters) 13 Oct 17,  – Iran harshly reacted to President Donald Trump’s decision not to certify its nuclear deal with six major powers, and President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran might walk away if the continuing agreement does not serve the country’s national interests.

Defying Trump, Rouhani said Tehran will double its efforts to expand the country’s defence capabilities, including the country’s ballistic missile programme despite the U.S. pressure to suspend it.

 Trump said in an address at the White House that he would not continue to certify the multinational agreement and warned he might ultimately terminate it.

“No president can revoke an international deal … Iran will continue to respect it as long as it serves our interests,” Rouhani said in a live television address, adding that Trump’s speech was full of “insults and fake accusations” against Iranians.

While Trump did not pull the United States out of the agreement, aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, he gave the U.S. Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the pact.

That increases tension with Iran as well as putting Washington at odds with other signatories of the accord such as Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union, who say the U.S. cannot unilaterally cancel the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers ……..http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-usa-rouhani-reaction/rouhani-says-iran-will-stay-in-nuclear-deal-only-if-it-serves-interests-tv-idUKKBN1CI2S9

October 14, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment