Britain to Trump: don't ditch Iran nuclear deal

Sergio Conner
May 8, 2018

Trump has repeatedly threatened to abrogate the nuclear agreement by not extending the sanctions waivers when they expire.

The announcement would be made from the White House at at 2:00am Tuesday (local time - 4:00am Wednesday AEST), Mr Trump tweeted.

"Anything that's slightly less than that - by which I mean he may delay his decision, or he may not impose the same amount of sanctions previously - I think markets would react favorably to that, given that markets are now pricing in probably the worst-case scenario", Tim Fox, head of research and chief economist at Emirates NBD, told CNBC's "Capital Connection". He's already across the Rubicon.

Tehran is ready to respond harshly to the United States if the latter decides to drop the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Monday.

The U.S. offered Iran over $110 billion a year in sanctions relief and a return to the global economy in exchange for halting its drive for a nuclear weapon.

Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, pleaded with Donald Trump not to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal on Monday.

While the May 12 deadline has been portrayed as a yes-or-no decision for Trump, it's not that simple.

"Fresh sanctions, which would remove some of Iran's crude supplies from the global market, will tighten the balance between demand and supply and support crude prices", Takayuki Nogami, chief economist at state-backed Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp., said by phone from Tokyo. "Time has come for the Europeans to pivot and try to keep Iran in compliance with the deal without the U.S". But after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's presentation last week detailing Iran's past covert efforts to nuclear weapon, Trump expressed a sense of vindication over his long-held criticism of the accord.

United Kingdom foreign secretary Boris Johnson is the next European official to try and convince Trump to remain within the deal, following Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel who visited Washington recently with the same goal.

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Experts were hoping that a visit from Macron was the best chance to save it, but post his meeting, Macron sounded pessimistic about the deal's fate.

Trump's criticism of the deal has given Netanyahu a rare chance to reopen negotiations that appeared to have concluded in 2015.

Rouhani vehemently reiterated his country's opposition to curtailing its non-nuclear missile capabilities, in his speech on Sunday.

The foundation of this deal was the Obama administration and European Union's willful ignorance of and blind trust in the Iranian government.

"We think it's a good deal", Darroch said.

"If you don't violate a risky deal, it doesn't make it less unsafe", he said, adding that the accord was based on "a fictitious Iranian report" to the International Atomic Energy Agency, in which Iran denied having ever planned to build a weapon. I am sure of one thing: every available alternative is worse.

"Trump must know that our people are united, the Zionist regime (Israel) must know that our people are united", Rouhani said.

Then US secretary of state John Kerry walks with crutches to the hotel where the Iran nuclear talks were being held in Vienna, Austria, July 1, 2015.

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