Iran

Trump Sanctions Against Iran – Want’s Other Countries To Stop Doing Business With Tehran

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New sanctions that President Trump set on Iran are described by POTUS himself as “the most biting sanctions ever imposed.” Also, he warned other countries that they would need to choose between Washington and Tehran in terms of business.

Obama administration lifted sanctions after they, backed up by the US allies, signed a nuclear deal with the Middle East country in 2015 that derailed Iran’s nuclear weapons program. A new set of measures against the regime in Tehran bring limitations on transactions that are done in U.S. dollars, but also the automotive industry. Among other sectors, they will target metal trade, including gold, and commercial plane purchase.

Not long after these moves by President Trump, his Iranian colleague, Hassan Rouhani stated on Monday: “If someone has knife in the hand and seeks talks, he should first put the knife in his pocket.” He also added that there are no pre-conditions from Tehran for the talks between the two countries and that America only needs to pay for “intervention in Iran.”

“If the U.S. government is ready to negotiate about paying compensation to the Iranian nation from 1953 until now,” Rouhani stated. “The U.S owes the Iranian nation for its intervention in Iran.”

It looks like Iranian president is talking about mission supported by CIA that had the goal to overthrow Iran’s prime minister and return shah in 1953. This is something we could hear from many of his predecessors and state officials.

image source: altoday.com

The sanctions were restored so to limit the Tehran’s possibility to finance “terrorists, dictators, proxy militias, and the regime’s own cronies,” according to a senior administration official. If the situation doesn’t improve the new set of measures will be implemented on Nov. 4, when the banking sector and oil industry will be targeted.

Iran is looking towards other countries with which they could do their business and Rouhani stated how Russia and China could step in when it comes to oil trade if further U.S. sanctions are imposed. On the other hand, President Trump, who exited the Iran deal, stated how he is ready to talk with Tehran.

In a surprise turn, Trump offers to meet with Iran

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After months of confrontation with Tehran, President Trump said on Monday that he is willing to meet with Iranian official without preconditions and at the time of their choosing.

Just days before, Trump and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani were exchanging threats over the media.

“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” Trump tweeted in all caps.

Rouhani responded by warning him not to “play with the lion’s tail” and stating that war with Iran would be “mother of all wars.”

His overture for a conciliation was rejected by the Iranian government: “With current America and these policies, there will definitely not be the possibility of dialogue and engagement, and the United States has shown that it is totally unreliable,” said Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Bahram Qassemi.

Trump wasn’t worried about the reaction from his fellow Republicans, some of which staunchly oppose any attempt at negotiation with Iran, or U.S. allies in the region like Israel and Saudi Arabia, who believe that Iran is the major source of instability in the Middle East.

“I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet,” Trump said. “If they want to meet, I’ll meet.”

Source:dailysabah.com

Trump acknowledged that Iran’s economic troubles are caused by his cancelation of the Iran Deal, negotiated by President Obama. Iran’s currency is in free fall, and the situation will only get worse once the U.S. sanctions, suspended after the deal was signed, come back in effect on August 4th. The citizens have organized several protests criticizing the Tehran’s economic policies.

“They are having a hard time right now. But I ended the Iran deal. It was a ridiculous deal,” POTUS said. “If we could work something out that’s meaningful, not the waste of paper that the other deal was, I would certainly be willing to meet.”

Trump hopes that months of pressure combined with the bad economy will force Tehran to negotiate and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agrees with the plan. He did say that Iran must meet some conditions before the talks could start.

“If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people — reduce their maligned behavior, can agree that it’s worthwhile to enter in a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the president said he’s prepared to sit down and have a conversation with him,” Pompeo said, somewhat contradicting Trump on “no preconditions” clause.

Some other White House supporters also agree with the plan.

“It’s a well-timed offer made as the leaders of the Islamic Republic are facing increasingly severe economic and social crises,” said Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Trump is saying, you want the pain to stop, meet me. If not, the pain will only get worse.”

There are critics of the plan, however. They say that Iran doesn’t trust Trump and don’t believe that he would negotiate in good faith. They also state that even if Rouhani, a moderate politician, would agree to meet with him, the scrutiny he would face at home would be overwhelming.

Even Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), one of the Trump’s biggest supporters on the Hill, seems to think that the meeting would be unwise at this point.

“You know, countries like Iran and Cuba and other two-bit rogue regimes don’t have nuclear weapons, yet. They can’t threaten the United States in that way,” Cotton said. “Once North Korea had nuclear weapons, once they have missiles that can deliver them to use, I would liken it to past presidents sitting down with Soviet dictators.”

The key U.S. allies in the Middle East, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates clash daily with Iran in Syria and elsewhere, and would be adamantly opposed to any notion of a meeting between Washington and Tehran, let alone such a high profile one that would include president of the United States.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Khalid bin Salman, issued a warning against any sort of appeasement of religious leaders of Iran.

“Those who have not learnt history’s lessons counsel us to let the Iranians subvert the entire Middle East while granting them as many financial enticements as possible,” he wrote. “A wiser and ultimately more moral approach is to pressure Iran to correct its awful behavior immediately.”

The cycle of threats and negations seems consistent with Trump’s method of conducting foreign affairs. He was also threatening North Korea, only to have a meeting with Kim Jong Un just months later.

Iran Might Cancel The Nuclear Deal And Continue Its Nuclear Weapons Program

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When President Donald Trump decided to abandon the nuclear deal with Iran, it seemed, for a moment, that there is a chance for the agreement to be saved by the European countries. It was originally reported that Iran will not amp its enriched uranium production and still allow international inspectors to monitor their activities. The other side would need to offer economic aid to the Middle East country, but things might not pan out as it was planned.

A few days ago, on Sunday, a message from Iran high official was sent saying that Europe needs to stand up to Trump and help his country economically. Not long after that, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, said that European countries are not doing enough for them and that Tehran might leave the agreement. “The Europeans expect the Iranian nation to tolerate and grapple with the sanctions, to give up their nuclear activities, which is an absolute requirement for the future of the country, and also to continue with the restrictions that have been imposed on them. I would tell these governments that this bad dream will not come true.”

Source:washingtonpost.com

Bad news for the deal came on Tuesday when Iran officials said that they are working on expanding Natanz nuclear site and adding new centrifuges. Natanz is the biggest nuclear facility, and it was built in 2007 with the capability of creating low-enriched uranium that is used for nuclear reactors and in medicine. At this location, it is also possible to create a nuclear weapon grade enriched uranium that needs to be at about 90 percent or even higher.

At the moment Tehran wants to stay in the agreement but not without help from Europe. They will continue to enrich uranium but at levels that will not break the deal while the news about expanding Natanz center is a clear indication that they have an alternative and the means to create nuclear weapons if they don’t get what has been promised to them.

According to Ali Vaez, the Iran Project at the International Crisis Group leader, this is not the deal breaker but simple warning what could happen if the terms are not met. This way they are showing the ability to quickly restart the nuclear program if the agreement goes south.

Source:washingtonpost.com

When both sides signed the document, it allowed Iran to trade on the global market, but with Trump pulling out the US and imposing sanctions, it will be hard for Iran to continue its trade operations on the same level. It is clear that America is the main player when it comes to trade and Europe will not be able to compensate for their absence.

Some of the giants already decided to leave Iran, including PSA Group (Peugeot and Citroen) and General Electric. For example, PSA Group managed to produce a total of 440,000 cars in Iran for 2017. Because of this they will try and get a sanction waiver from America.

Source: washingtonpost.com

If Iran Leaves Nuclear Deal Oil Price Could Jump Significantly

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It is clear that a lot of things in our world depends on the black gold, and the majority of the reserves are located in the Middle East region. With that being said, it is important for this region to enjoy peace and stability. Latest developments suggest that things might turn badly for the world’s economics.

After Donald Trump decided to pull out America from the Iran deal, there is a possibility for this country to leave the 50-year-old United Nations treaty that prevents future spread of nuclear weapons. If this happens, and if Tehran decides to drop the 2015 deal then the sanctions would be again imposed to the Middle East state, and it would mean reduced production of oil allowing Saudi Arabia to effectively control the market.

With Iran continuing development of the nuclear weapons we could see a start of the arms race in that region. Semi silent war is already going on between some of the countries there, and it is only a matter of time when it will turn into a full-scale conflict.

Source:outsidethebeltway.com

Uncertainty and instability caused oil prices to go up and reach the figures that were not seen for more than three years. Some of the countries announced that they would increase the production, but that stopped surge for only a moment, and we are not sure for how long current prices will remain at this position.

European Union and other signatories of the Iran deal from 2015 are working hard to keep the agreement alive and well, but it might be hard as the influence of the US on the world economics is big. The first thing that leaders of America mentioned are the sanctions, only this time much stronger than the previous ones. If you remember, Iran was criticised for nuclear weapons development that was heavily supported by the government in the early 2000s, and the measures were taken to limit the possibilities of the country to trade on the world market.

Sanctions were lifted after the deal was signed and Tehran decided to stop further uranium enrichment for military purposes and allow inspectors to control their facilities. Stockpiles that were already produced were sent off to the Russia and Iran continued to work on a peaceful energy program.

With Venezuela reducing its production and Iran getting sanctions, the US and other markets will need other countries to pump more. As a result, it would be required from Saudi Arabia to provide more oil to the market as Texas will not be able to compensate for the reduction with Tehran out of the picture. We know what that means. Prices will go up, and this time we are not sure where it will stop and if they will return to the previous state.

Source: cnbc.com

Iranian President Goes To China – Nuclear Deal Talks

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According to China foreign ministry, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be coming to a regional summit for talks about the possibility of saving of Iran’s nuclear deal. The move has been made after the President of the United States, Donald Trump, decided to pull out America from the agreement.

This will be a working visit for President Rouhani as he will go to the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which is China and Russia-led political, economic and security Euroasian organisation. Regional meeting will be held in Qingdao, China located in northern part of the country. While we did not get the exact date of the visit, we know that the event has been scheduled for the second weekend of June.

At this moment, Tehran is only an observer member, but they already sought to become a permanent member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. With the sanctions imposed by West lifted it was reported that Iran could become a member of the bloc. Currently, this organisation consists of China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four Central Asia ex-Soviet republics.

Source:atimes.com

Before the nuclear deal was signed, Tehran was racing to finish their nuclear weapons program and to develop nuclear missiles. With the agreement that has been signed in 2015, Iran stopped the uranium enrichment process but also sent out its stockpiles to Russia. As a result, sanctions set by West were removed, and the Middle East country could return to trading and exports of oil.

While the deal that was signed didn’t completely stop Iran from using uranium, this was a good move for the entire world as it did stop them from developing a nuclear bomb. One of the problems with the agreement is that it prevents Tehran in creating atom bomb until 2025 after which they can continue the development. Of course, the terms could be renegotiated after that date, so the termination of the deal is considered to be a mistake by many.

Source:timesofisrael.com

With America out of the deal, we could see a lot of activity from European countries that will try to help Iran economically and thus persuade them to respect the terms. Since China is one of the signatories, it is considered that they will also work to ensure Tehran’s loyalty.

Source: cnbc.com

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Presents Europe With Demands For New Iran Deal

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The US left the Iran deal, but other parties involved are still trying to honor it. Tehran presented a new agreement to the European countries, and the new deal ‘undercuts’ America in every possible way.

Despite The US leaving Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), EU countries decided to try and save it in cooperation with the Middle East country. But, now it’s the Iran who sets the conditions in order to stay in the deal. These terms were presented yesterday by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

According to IRNA news agency close to the state, Khamenei said: “During the last two years, the US violated the JCPOA several times, and Europe remained silent. Europe must compensate for that silence.”

Some of the most notable conditions include demands that Europe protects Iran from US sanctions, that EU works on retaining and improving Iran oil sales, and that the banks of Old Continent remain a guarantee of financial cooperation with this Middle East country.

Source: www1.cbn.com

Other things named in the new agreement are related to Iran’s ballistic missile program. The new deal prohibits Germany, France, and the UK from negotiating about this subject with the US, and that they should not influence the manner in which will Iran implement activities in neighboring countries. In past America always had issues with Tehran’s involvement and military actions in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.

Talking about Iran’s actions in the region Khamenei said: “We have no conflicts with regard to these three countries; but we do not trust them, based on previous experience.”

Other world powers that have signed Iran deal are China and Russia, but they have no demands at the moment. This might change in the future as Iran’s supreme leader noted that if the requests are not fulfilled his country will immediately continue with its nuclear program. During the same statement he threatened: “When we see that the JCPOA was useless, one way forward is to restart those halted activities.”

Source: realiran.org

Khamenei was very vocal in his addressing claiming that the United States failed to show “loyalty to its commitments,” while trying to overthrow his country in the process. His message for Donald Trump was particularly harsh: “The current US president will have no better fate than that of his predecessors… he will be lost in history.”

These statements from Iranian supreme leader come only days after Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State presented the world with the US conditions for a new pact with Iran. The US-created deal has terms that demand Iran to withdraw its forces from Syria and that they stop sending aid to Houthi rebels in Yemen. If these conditions are not met, Pompeo threatened Iran with the pressure of ‘unprecedented’ magnitude. Pompeo said: “The sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course.”

After leaving the Iran deal, the US is planning to put sanctions on both Iran and the countries that decide to cooperate with this Middle East state. The set of measures will be even harsher than those that were lifted in 2015 when the deal was signed. This puts Europe in a tough position having to choose between working with the US or Iran.

Source: www.businessinsider.com

Mike Pompeo Threatens Iran “Do what we want, or else!”

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First speech of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state was filled with threats to Iran. He used this opportunity to give better insight into what the US wants from Iran and what would happen if their requirements are not met. All this was presented by the secretary of state with ‘do it, or we will force you to do it’ tone.

According to Pompeo, the US representatives have devised 12-point list, this is something that he called “basic requirements” that are expected from the Middle East country to be fulfilled. The most important things on that list are complete shut down of the nuclear program and the nuclear enrichment program, ballistic missile development should stop, cease the military engagement in the region and free unjustly imprisoned US citizens.

These are the terms that the US will need from Iran to be met, and after that, they would be allowed to join United Nations or league of nations as Pompe referred to it. This term was used from 1920 to 1946 and the organization that represented the base for UN. This all sounds wonderful, but the thing is that it is hard to expect a government to accept all these terms, especially after they didn’t do anything wrong according to inspectors and other countries that signed the deal.

In case that Tehran regime doesn’t respond positively to these demands, it has been said that the US will impose the toughest economic sanctions ever. “After our sanctions come into full force, it will be battling to keep its economy alive. Iran will be forced to make a choice — either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights abroad. It will not have the resources to do both,” Pompeo stated.

Source:dailysabah.com

As we already mentioned, there isn’t any evidence that nuclear agreement that has been signed by Iran on one side and US, UK, Germany, France, China, Russia on the other, was broken by the Middle East country. As a result, all signatories except the US decided to stay in the deal. Without the support from its allies, it will be quite hard for America to impose such heavy sanctions against Tehran.

One of the main reasons for such decision from the US government is the fact that they want to help people of Iran and prevent bad behavior of their officials. Pompeo stated: “It is America’s hope that our labors toward peace and security will bear fruit for the long-suffering people of Iran. We long to see them prosper and flourish as in decades past, and as never before.”

Pompeo also mentioned anti-government protests in Iran which “show that the Iranian people are deeply frustrated with their own government’s failures. The Iranian economy is struggling as a result of bad Iranian decisions. Workers aren’t getting paid, strikes are a daily occurrence, and the rial is plummeting. Youth unemployment is at a staggering 25 percent.”

While the facts that were delivered by the secretary of state are true, those are all old news, nothing has been dramatically changed in the last few years and even longer. As a result, it will be incredibly hard for the US and any other country to find allies in Iran that would go against the current regime. If the sanctions do come, it will certainly affect high-level officials, but the Iranian people is who will suffer the most.

When asked about the time frame and when the new measures will be imposed, Pompeo said that citizens of Iran “will get to make a choice about their leadership. If they make the decision quickly, that would be wonderful. If they choose not to do so, we will stay hard at this until we achieve the outcomes that I set forward today.” What the high official of the US just did is to call out for the people of this Middle East country to rise against the leaders and overthrow them.

It isn’t hard to agree with many things that Trump’s administration is saying about Iran, but it is hard to believe that this country is in any way a threat to American way of life, something that was often used as an excuse for military and other types of interventions. It can also be argued that Tehran could harm the US allies in the region as all of them have superior armies and are better funded.

Source: washingtonpost.com

Will Donald Trump Try To Fix The Iran Deal?

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There’s a saying that if something isn’t broken, you shouldn’t try to fix it. Iran deal wasn’t perfect, but it was working. Now, Donald Trump has destroyed it, and it’s on him to try to fix it if that’s something he wants to do.

Donald Trump inherited this agreement from the previous administration, and through his campaign he often trash talked it. It was evident from the start that Trump will try to put an end to this deal that he believed is not preventing Iranians from building nuclear weapons. He also was adamant that the US should not help Iran economically at all. Despite not being perfect, agreement prevented this Middle East country from developing an atomic bomb, and inspectors believe that they can’t achieve that goal before 2030.

The agreement was signed between Iran President Hassan Rouhani and at the time the US President Barack Obama. Both Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry knew at the time that the deal is not to be permanent and that it will be revisited in the feature. But, at that moment it was better than no deal or possible military intervention.

Source: foreignpolicy.com

Even with this agreement Iran’s path to nuclear arsenal wasn’t permanently closed. They were allowed to build nuclear industrial bases, and it was no secret that they kept all of the information on their bomb-making work. Israeli intelligence believes that they continued their work only behind the curtains and with reduced resources. They did this even after the signing the deal that should guarantee that they won’t be pursuing nuclear weapons.

It was evident that Iran as a country, after the agreement, won’t be entirely focused on developing an atomic bomb, but part of the focus will remain on that field. Because of this, some of Trump’s critics are on the spot. Before leaving the agreement, Trump administration tried to convince European countries to try and fix its flaws. Also, they wanted to have British, German, and French authorities on their side in order to prevent Iran activities in the region and to put sanctions on their ballistic missiles program.

But, Europeans believed that Iran respected the deal and that the sign that they did this is the fact that they can’t develop any nuclear warhead equipped missiles until 2030 according to nuclear inspectors. With the contract expiring in 2025 Europe believed that the deal could be renegotiated closer to that date rather than brake it now.

Source: www.express.co.uk

Another agenda that Trump is trying to push here is the regime change in Iran. The current president doesn’t have complete support and America believes that economic sanctions could turn the people away from the current regime. But, even if this doesn’t happen, Trump thinks that this way Iran could be ready to sign a new US-dictated deal. When he announced, America’s stepping out of the deal on May 8th Trump said: “Iran’s leaders will naturally say that they refuse to negotiate a new deal … and that’s fine. I’d probably say the same thing if I was in their position. But the fact is, they are going to want to make a new and lasting deal, one that benefits all of Iran and the Iranian people. When they do, I am ready, willing, and able.”

With this statement, Trump looks like someone who doesn’t want a regime change but wants a new agreement with the current one. Instead of focusing only on nuclear-related issues, he addressed some of the economic ones and turned away from its allies in Europe. EU countries that signed the deal made a joint statement saying: “We will continue to show our commitment to the JCPOA, while also urging the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal.”

Source: www.dw.com

When the deal was signed, many believed that ti would fall apart eventually as they thought that Iran is going to be the one that walks out first. Now that the US has left without the support of their allies it’s hard to guess what lies ahead.

One thing is sure, America won’t have the help in pressuring Iran into signing a revised deal. There won’t be a need for a reworked deal if Iran and European countries stay accord on the old one. And it’s not only the EU. Japan and South Korea might follow the US out of the pact but Chinese, Indians, and Russians won’t.

Only days after the US left the deal the conflict between Iran and Israel escalated, with both countries launching missiles at military targets. The problems will only become graver in the future if Trump doesn’t change anything. He went away from the approach that Barack Obama had, and now it’s up to him to handle the Iran issues.

Source: foreignpolicy.com

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