Trump targets Hezbollah ahead of key Iran sanctions deadlines

12 January, 2018, 15:16 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis right listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Wednesday Jan. 10 2018 in Washington

"Legislative gimmicks that don't permanently fix the Iran nuclear deal under us law, regardless of which party controls the White House, and continued European photo-ops with Javad Zarif are like waving a red flag in front of an angry bull", said Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Under the deal, Iran would need roughly a year, instead of less than two months, to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, giving the global community enough time to detect any major clandestine nuclear effort, said the report, which is co-authored by the Carnegie Endowment for worldwide Peace and Center for a New American Security.

European Union powers yesterday met Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels and urged the U.S. president to extend the two-year-old agreement, insisting it was vital for global security.

U.S. President Donald Trump is set to decide Friday whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran, a move that may put the landmark Iran nuclear deal in peril.

The six sources, who were not allowed to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity, said Trump could still reject the recommendation from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other top aides and that no final decision had been made. "I would expect an announcement either later today or tomorrow morning".

Earlier, European powers urged Mr Trump to uphold that agreement, saying it was vital for worldwide security.

"You're going to be finding out very soon", Trump said Thursday when asked about Iran.

"The president still strongly believes this is one of the worst deals of all time", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters as Trump's meeting started.

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European Union foreign ministers, including Boris Johnson, met their Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Brussels yesterday.

The 's Gary O'Donoghue, in Washington, says that while the future of the major sanctions is an open question, the new measures could help the president fend off criticisms from his supporters that he's not fulfilling a key campaign promise to "rip up" the nuclear deal with Iran. It therefore is more accurate to call these people "FAKE Iran deal opponents".

Iranian human rights activist Hassan Makaremi said the Iranian government needed to accept that not all protesters were rallying against the government, and that some were protesting due to the country's economic situation.

McMonigle estimated that as much as 800,000 b/d of Iranian crude could be removed from the market and spike oil prices if the deal is scrapped. That would have nearly certainly unraveled the agreement - and it may yet, since Mr. Trump has warned he will dismantle the deal if he can not improve it.

"In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies", he said over the fall, "then the agreement will be terminated".

French President Emmanuel Macron called Trump on Thursday and stressed France's determination to see "the strict application of the deal and the importance of all the signatories to respect it". European officials separately said they did. But they said the issue should be kept separate from the nuclear deal.

Steve Goldstein, the State Department's under secretary of state for public diplomacy, said US responses to the Iranian protests should be kept separate from decision-making on USA participation in the deal.



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