Iran - Page 3

Withdrawing from the Iran Deal Possible Outcomes


Trump faced a decision which will shape the future of the world. He had the option to either stay in the Iran deal or withdraw from it and allow Iran to revive its nuclear program. On Tuesday, Donald Trump made an announcement, and all eyes were on Washington. POTUS decided to withdraw from the agreement and here are the possible outcomes of this decision.

What happens with Iran?

For the first time, the sanctions on Iran were imposed in 2012 when the country’s oils exports were hit hard. This forced Iran to negotiate with America and its European allies, and they came up with the Iran deal. The sanctions were lifted, and the oil exports jumped to 2.6 million barrels per day. Now Trump would like to do the same – introduce the sanctions which would force Iran to submit to a new agreement which favors America more, but this is not 2012, and the circumstances are different. Even if the sanctions are imposed once again, they would be enforced in six months, according to the US law, and Iran would still be able to export oil to countries such as China and India, as they would not support the sanctions imposed by the US.

What happens with allies in Europe?

Trump has already worsened the alliance between America and European countries. He has threatened to introduce steel tariffs, and the US withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. Great Britain, France, and Germany, the US most important allies in Europe, are going to stick together, and they consider America’s withdrawal to be the violation of the deal. On several occasions, the leaders of these countries pointed out that they would not pull out of the deal and they would do everything to protect the European companies that are operating in Iran.

However, the agreement is endangered with the US pulling out. Despite the fact that the European countries will try to prevent the sanctions from applying to their companies, most of the businesses will have to choose to access the American market or stick with the Iranian one. And most of these businesses will opt for the former, therefore harming the Iranian economy.

What is Iran’s response?

The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the government will do everything to comply with the deal even after America gets out. Initially. So far, they have not broken the agreement, and they will do everything in their power to keep the deal valid since everyone but the United States wants to stay in. However, Rouhani’s political opponents have criticized this deal, and the economic benefits the country has from it since the economy of Iran remain slugging and fragile. Their economy should benefit from the investments from Europe, but the European investors are expected to flee should the US impose their sanctions leaving Iran stranded. This would force Iran to withdraw from the agreement as well and revive its nuclear program.

To do this, they would have to kick out international inspectors who have kept a close eye to Iran’s nuclear program, according to the Western intelligence agencies. Iran’s stockpiles of uranium are high, and according to the estimates, which vary, the country could build a nuclear bomb within a year. That way, Teheran would successfully revive its nuclear program, jeopardizing every nation in the region.

Based on everything you can read here, you can conclude whether it is better for the US to stay in the deal or not. Leaving the agreement is a dangerous move that could hurt everyone involved. America’s position in the Middle East will be harmed, Iran would be under economic sanctions, but they would be forced to strengthen their position with the nuclear weapon and defend their land. Meanwhile, the relationship between the US and Europe will definitely deteriorate while European investors would have to look for another place to do business.


Iran’s Currency Crisis is an opportunity for the United States


In February 2019 the Iranian Revolution will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Unless it is toppled by another revolution, this time fueled by the regime’s inability to provide a decent living to the citizens.

Since the beginning of 2018, Iranian currency is in free fall. The inflation is rampant and the dollar gained 375 on rial in the first three months of the year. These are all signs of a deeply troubled economy and the measures taken by Iran’s government may prove too much for their people to handle.

The crisis has been caused by the statements made by the United States president Donald Trump about his intentions to exit the Iran Nuclear Deal. Several attempts have been made to persuade him to change his mind, but there are indications that he is determined to go through with his threats and pull America out of what he describes as “insane” deal. The May 12th deadline he has given to his European allies is fast approaching and it appears that the agreement will be canceled. President Trump’s intentions in case the deal is dropped are unclear and may include a variety of actions, re-imposing sanctions against Tehran being on top of the list.

The limitations placed on purchasing of the foreign currency, mostly dollar, and euro, have forced many Iranians to trade them in back allies, effectively breaking the law and risking prison. The regime has also proclaimed that 10,000 euros is the maximum amount a citizen may have at any moment, forcing them to either sell the surplus to the government at a loss or place it at a special account, controlled by the Central bank, making it easily accessible to the regime.

President Hassan Rouhani has managed to alienate his most staunched supporters by this move, the country’s middle class, which have helped him take power by the massive demonstrations against then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s stolen election in 2009 and voting for Rouhani in 2013. The economic crisis also means that lower class isn’t getting its wages on time, turning them against the regime as well. This only leaves the military supporting the government and once their salaries start to dry up, the mullahs may find themselves in a tough spot.

One thing the United States can do to speed up the process is to re-impose sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank, which will make it almost impossible for Tehran to fight currency depreciation and inflation, pushing the entire country into an economic nightmare. It is debatable whether this would be enough to cause a massive outpour of anger big enough to depose the regime, but it surely won’t be beneficial for them.


Trump’s missed opportunities in foreign policy


Donald Trump conducts foreign policy the way he does everything else: aggressively, unpredictably, and with complete lack of interest or knowledge in proper diplomatic norms. Usually, this approach rarely ends well, but for Donald Trump, it almost worked. The only reason is that his bullishness is backed up by the largest economic and military power in the history of the world. Unfortunately, he almost always fails to capitalize on his initial gains.

Trump’s insistence on scrapping the Iran deal has left his European allies scrambling to fix it before his May 12th deadline expires. It was all America could hope for, European powers proposing sanctions for Iran’s involvements in Syria and ballistic tests. Both Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel visited Washington last month trying to persuade Trump to remain part of the deal. Britain, France, and Germany agreed that Tehran needs to be told that red lines in Syria apply to them as well. Renegotiating the agreement under those lines would be a major success of the White House foreign policy. Yet, Trump will squander it all away just so that he can say that he scrapped Obama’s deal.

This is quite similar to his actions in Syria. They were best described by Robert Worth:
“[A]fter the administration launched missile strikes on Syrian regime targets in retaliation for the poison-gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, there was a welcome opportunity to pressure the Syrians and their Russian backers. This was precisely what John Kerry dreamed of during Obama’s final years: a decisive show of force that would create leverage on the diplomatic front. Now Trump had achieved it. A European diplomat told me he spoke to McMaster just after the Syria strike and asked him: “Now you have leverage: What will you do?” McMaster stared back at him blankly, he told me. “For them, it was not leverage,” the diplomat said. “It was just a strike.”

Israel and Palestine peace talks are another example of how his unorthodox approach could have yielded unexpected results. While obviously pro-Israel, Trump wasn’t a stranger to criticizing Tel Aviv, a fact that show Palestine leaders that mutually beneficial agreement could be struck. Appointment of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was a clear message that he takes a personal interest in the deal and most of the participants reacted positively to his initiative. Then he threw it all away by unilaterally deciding to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestinians are now boycotting the US, and any hope of even modest progress is lost.

Trump’s latest challenge is North Korea. What started as name-calling escalated into threats of annihilation with nuclear weapons. Fortunately, passions subsided and Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to visit South Korea, in anticipation of the summit between himself and Donald Trump. There are already worrying signs that Trump will miss this historic opportunity to create a lasting peace on Korean Peninsula as well. His remarks about “great celebration” at the DMZ could mean that he will either accept whatever deal Kim offers, regardless of how empty or unenforceable it is, or he will storm out and go back to threatening Pyongyang with nuclear devastation.

Despite his ignorance about the world and diplomatic protocol, Donald Trump has failed to entangle the United States in any disastrous foreign adventure, even that was something that many of his critics predicted. Instead, his approach has created several excellent opportunities, some of which his predecessors would do anything to had have. It was fumbling of those opportunities in order to achieve some short-term goal (mostly to allow him to brag at rallies or on Fox about them) that have a potential of turning into disasters. The most irritable fact is that his administration failed to even recognize the long-term possibilities of their boss’s unorthodox approach to diplomacy.

Not all is lost, though. The summit with North Korea is still a few weeks away, which is plenty of time for his advisors to properly prepare him. The Iran deal still isn’t dead in the water and there’s a slim chance that Mr. Trump may relent and allow his European allies to fix it. This would, in turn, stabilize Syria and allow Israel to stand down, which would clear up a path towards opening a dialogue with Abbas and his government.


European Inability To Handle Donald Trump Could Cause Iran Crisis


The European officials showed us that they don’t know how to handle Donald Trump. While trying to get on his better side, they ended up on the side that is ruining the Iran deal.

The Iran deal is a multilateral agreement which guarantees that Iran won’t be able to acquire nuclear weapons. Trump and his office are on a path to destroy this deal, and if this happens, it won’t be just another funny Trump blunder. It will have a devastating impact on Iran, region, and European politics. If this occurs after years of negotiating this agreement, it will be a sign that European countries have a weak stance compared to the one America has, and that they have little to no influence in the Middle East.

Agreement that has been signed by Iran on one side and the United States, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, and the European Union, on the other, forbids this Middle East country to stockpile enriched uranium, and thus they are rendered unable to produce nuclear weapons. With this deal, Iran gave supervision of its nuclear facilities to foreign inspectors which would make sure that no bomb is manufactured secretly. In exchange for this, all of the countries that signed the agreement lifted international sanctions imposed on Iran.


China and Russia firmly support this agreement, not because they are naive but because the alternatives are far worse. If this deal collapses and Iran gets sanctions once again, the first thing they will try to do is to get themselves armed with nuclear weapons. They have an example of how much respect you can get from world powers if you arm yourself with atomic arsenal just like North Korea did. From a country on outskirts of society, they became feared just because Kim Jong Un developed nuclear facilities and ballistic missile capacity.

If sanctions are imposed on Iran once again, the only way that US could stop them from following NK example would be to launch an invasion. This absolutely isn’t necessary since the Iran deal was signed by both International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.S. government which confirmed that they are working in compliance with it. The ones that are breaking the agreement are the United States of America who failed to provide Iran with economic benefits that were promised. Donald Trump refuses to aid Iran economically without an explanation, while one of his advisors even said that he would tear it up on May 12th.


In response to these treats European leading countries and their leaders, all went to the US to try and persuade Trump to do the right thing. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister Theresa May, all had separate visits to the White House to try to persuade Trump to stick to the Iranian deal.

The right thing to do would be to threaten trump that EU will continue to respect the deal regardless of US stance. French president even suggested that a new deal could be struck if all parties agree. But, this is not necessary, the current deal is good enough, they should try to stay loyal one to another instead of trying to go in the direction Donald Trump wants.

Unfortunately, European countries showed weakness, and it now looks like Iran deal is about to be replaced or drastically changed. Asking Iran to modify some parts of the agreement wouldn’t be hard, but only if the United States respected their side of the contract. With them failing to comply, there’s no reason why would Iran want to recognize the deal other parties won’t. At this moment it would be hard to imagine that there isn’t something that Iran wants form the US. This is not a one-sided agreement, and Tehran will be sure that everyone understands this. If Trump indeed decides to tear it up, it could have a devastating effect on the entire region. The deal might have its flaws, but we hope that war is not a solution for this.

Is Donald Trump Violating Iran Deal?


Donald Trump set the date – May 12 – for his decision whether to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran. In October last year, Trump decided that Iran wasn’t complying with the agreement and that was why he wanted to re-impose the sanctions which had been waived as a part of the deal. Now, POTUS wants to rework the agreement because, according to him, it is a terrible deal for America. If this doesn’t happen by May 12, “American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume.”

However, Trump should not be trusted. Iran is the country which is abiding by the rules of the agreement, and this has been confirmed by The International Atomic Energy Agency for nine times. Furthermore, all of the American allies have said the same thing. Even US Defense Secretary James Mattis confirmed it with the State Department issuing a report which stated that “Iran continued to fulfill its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”

So far, Iran has been complying with the agreement, but what about the other major signatory state? According to most of the journalists, this deal sounds a lot like a trade deal, and one CNN reporter put it like this: “[The deal] obliges Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the suspension of economic sanctions.” But it is far more complicated than this. Waiving nuclear sanctions is not the only responsibility of the United States. America should not prevent Iran as it attempts to reintegrate into the global economy and according to Section 26, the US and its allies are committed “to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting specified” in the deal. Meanwhile, Section 29 and Section 33 commit the signatories which are not Iran to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran,” and “to agree on steps to ensure Iran’s access in areas of trade, technology, finance and energy,” respectively.

And these are the clauses which have been violated by the United States of America. The Washington Post noted Trump’s efforts to persuade the European allies to stop making trade and business deals with Iran during a NATO summit last year in May. Furthermore, at a G20 summit in Germany, Trump’s director of legislative affairs acknowledged that POTUS had “underscored the need for nations … to stop doing business with nations that sponsor terrorism, especially Iran.” The US pledged to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran,” but they are not honoring that pledge.

To make matters worse, there are other violations as well. According to Section 22, which refers to America only, the US is obliged to “allow for the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran.” Any company from the United States, or from the other parts of the world which receives more than 10% of the parts from the US-based companies must ask for a permit from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) if they want to do business with Iran. OFAC started issuing permits, and in November 2016 they allowed the sale of 106 airplanes to Iran Air. However when Trump became the president “requests concerning permits to export planes to Iran have been piling up … OFAC has not responded to aircraft sales licensing requests since the first of such licenses were issued during the Barack Obama administration.”

While the licenses for routine personal divestment transactions are still being issued, those for commercial transactions are now denied. In other words, you can sell your property or close your bank account in Iran, but when it comes selling airplanes, for instance, that is put to a halt. National Iranian American Council’s Reza Marashi reported earlier in the year: “To hear senior Western diplomats tell it, the Trump administration has not approved a single Iran-related OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) license since taking office.” This indicates that, once again, America is the one not complying with the agreement.

We are patiently waiting for May 12th and Trump’s decision on Iran Deal. Even if the sanctions are not reimposed, America is still not playing by the rules. One thing is for certain. Things are going to change some way or another.


Israel and Iran May Confront in Syria, Warns Mattis


US Defense Secretary James Mattis has said that there is a possibility of military confrontation between Iranian and Israeli military forces on Syrian soil. The Israeli officials have arrived in Washington to discuss the matter, and Mattis was quick to warn the Congress of another military conflict in the Middle East. When he was asked whether the two sides could engage in a fight, he responded: “I can see how it might start, but I am not sure when or where. I think that it’s very likely in Syria because Iran continues to do its proxy work there through Hezbollah.”

Mattis said that Iran was strengthening its position in Syria and he also accused the country of “bringing advanced weapons for Hezbollah through Syria. [Israel] will not wait to see those missiles in the air and we hope Iran would pull back.”

The Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman who spoke with Mattis and US national security adviser John Bolton warned that Iran might strike. He told Arabic news website Elaph: “Any site in which we see an Iranian attempt to achieve a military foothold in Syria will be struck. We won’t let that happen, regardless of the price.” In February, Israeli forces attacked Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria when one of their F16 jets was taken down at the Syrian border.

According to Charles Lister from the Middle East Institute, the Iranian presence in Syrian has become a “hugely explosive issue.” Mr. Lister told The National “The threat is unacceptable, and Israel can’t continue to watch it grow.” He added: “What it means is they [Israelis] need to do something, so we started to see more aggressive, more risky strikes.” With Russia’s inability to keep Iran calm, the possible confrontation might spread on Lebanon as well, and that is why it has to be nipped in the bud.

According to Mattis, Trump had not made the decision to get out of the Iran deal, and the White House is a place where national security meetings are held. At the meetings, the president and his aides are considering the options once the May 12 deadline passes. Of the Iran deal, Mattis said: “I have read it now three times, all 156 pages, and I will say it is written almost with an assumption that Iran will try to cheat. So the verification, what is in there, is actually pretty robust as far as our intrusive ability to get in.”

Another big thing happened on Thursday as the former CIA director Mike Pompeo has been confirmed as the new Secretary of State. He will replace incapable Rex Tillerson and find the department in the sorry state. However, Pompeo will fly to Brussels right away where he will discuss the NATO defenses, and from there he will go to the Middle East. There are several vacant spots on the department which need to be filled immediately, and Mr. Pompeo has promised to do it. According to Bloomberg, Paula Dobriansky is going to be the nominee for Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs, and she would replace Tom Shannon. She has already been on the various positions in both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush’s administrations.


USA Loses Credibility Due to Foreign Policy Double Standards


The American leaders are promoting their country as the example of how a country should behave in the world, but the reality is completely different. While the US has been overthrowing some repressive rulers, they have allowed the others to keep their positions and called them their friends and noble members of the Free World. Names that pop up include Shah of Iran, Nicaragua’s Somoza family, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, to name a few. This hypocrisy lives on, and it appears that will continue to be a dominant part of the US foreign policy.

The value United States practices and those that they preach are vastly different, and that gap can be seen in the Middle East. Recently, the United States harshly criticized Iran and Syria because of their domestic and foreign policy and while some of those criticisms are valid, the others are not so much. Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Iran’s government broke numerous international laws and violated human rights on many occasions, but sometimes officials from America are quiet and to make matters worse, the US is the one committing such crimes.

After the reported use of chemical weapons by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Trump called him to be an exceptionally vile enemy. He used Twitter, as always, to say that Assad is “an animal” and to justify the use of airstrikes on Syria, Trump wrote: “[The incident confirmed] a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime. The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead.” He was also quick to criticize Russia and Iran for the support and sponsorship of such a man. He said: “To Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?”

According to Daniel Larison of TAC, Trump should be the one who knows the answer to this question. He acknowledged: “Trump should know the answer since he just hosted one of the chief architects of the war on Yemen that the U.S. has backed to the hilt for the last three years. Britain welcomed the Saudi crown prince earlier on, and France just hosted him in the last few days. All three have been arming and supporting the Saudis and their allies in Yemen no matter how many atrocities they commit.”

It appears that the United States spread not only peace and democracy around the Middle East, but also chaos and war. They have funded Saudi Arabia and provided intelligence in their attacks on Yemen, which besides other devastating events triggered cholera epidemic which affects regular people. However, it doesn’t end here, and Washington would have a hard time washing their hands after everything they have done. Evidence has emerged that the Saudi forces have used white phosphorous munitions which cause severe burns on the victims and the supplier is no other than Washington.

To show that America is a hypocritical country, we have to go north and visit another US ally – Turkey. When Russia annexed Crimea, the United States was first to react, but they did nothing when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and occupied the northern part of the island. They sort of criticized Turkey for the invasion, but as the time passed by, the US officials became more and more disinterested. Instead, they pressured Cyprus to accept the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which was established by Ankara. The sanctions were imposed initially, but they were soon lifted, which was an embarrassment. This mild reaction from the US repeated when Turkey sent their troops to northern Iran and northern Syria as well.

We are moving on. The next stop is Iran. The United States keeps criticizing Iran for repression and their domestic conduct, and they are joined by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the US allies. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is the first one to verbally attack Iran for repression. After demonstrations emerged in several parts of the country, Haley used the opportunity to speak up: “The Iranian regime’s contempt for the rights of its people has been widely documented for many years.” She added that America stood “unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families, and dignity for their nation.”

Her facts are way off. Let’s be clear on something. Iran’s political system differs from the Western democracy, but that doesn’t mean that it is repressive. Of course, there are some matters which can be improved and dealt with, but this country is way more open than Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The candidates for office which are considered “unacceptable” are excluded from the race by Guardian Council, but the Iranian election are quite open, and people have a chance to vote for a candidate they like. More often than not, two candidates have very contrasting views on the matters regarding Iran, and President Hassan Rouhani managed to win electoral mandate over his opponent in May 2017. Why is Saudi Arabia America’s ally when the laws in this country are too strict, and inequality and repression are pouring out of its borders?

The Saudi royal family is condemning any attempt at creating an opposition. People who criticized regime have often been imprisoned and sometimes even beheaded. According to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia is at the bottom when it comes to respecting human rights. For instance, the government has just allowed women to drive and this was considered to be a radical reform. The similar things happen in Egypt where speaking against the regime could mean losing your head. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi put thousands of his political opponents behind bars, and hundreds were killed. Where is the United States in these countries? Why aren’t troops sent to free the people who don’t have the rights they deserve?

The United States, with President Trump in the oval office, is aware of what is going on, but they refuse to react. These are brutal atrocities, committed by the US allies, but just because they are allied countries, they would go unpunished. The US is even selling weapons to such countries, aiding their repression and attacks on other states in the region. This leads us to the conclusion that the United States don’t care at all about freedom around the world. Now, we understand that this is no fairytale and to get rid of some enemies the United States needs to unite with the countries which are drastic in their laws to strengthen the position in the Middle East.

What bothers us is that the officials are not frank with the United State citizens. Instead of explaining that these decisions are made for the interest of the US, they are presenting one side of the story. Is it possible that they are afraid of how the public would react in such case? For once, the United States need to be honest in their intentions, and these do not include the rights or welfare of the people who live in the Middle East. No matter what the politicians say, the foreign policy of Washington indicates otherwise, and we must not turn a blind eye.


Trump and Macron Modifying Iran Deal; Iran likely to Refuse


Donald Trump met with French President Emmanuel Macron, and the US leader described the Iran deal as “insane” and “ridiculous,” and the two leaders came up with the idea to make a new Iran deal. Teheran ruled out the possibility of the new agreement which made Trump and Macron come closer to a side deal between the United States and European countries who signed the Iran deal.

At the press conference, Macron stated: “The discussions we’ve had together make it possible to open the way, to pave the way for a new agreement.” He added that the new deal would stop Iran in their intentions to further develop their ballistic missiles, but it will also reduce the country’s influence in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and some other states in the Middle East.

“I think we will have a great shot at doing a much bigger maybe-deal, maybe-not-deal,” Trump added. “We’re going to find out, but we’ll know fairly soon.”

We are not sure what the new deal is going to be about. What are the changes Trump mentions? Are those changes big? Currently, media is left in the dark regarding the new deal, and so far, Trump has consulted only with the European signatories such as Germany, France, and Britain. The diplomats have a task to fix this agreement and Trump gave them a deadline – May 12. If the deal is not fixed by then, the US would re-impose sanctions on Iran, which could endanger the stability in the region, break the current agreement, and cause Iran to step out of the deal.

What does Trump Demand?

Donald Trump waived the sanctions in January 2018, but some of this will automatically be enforced on May 12 if the new agreement isn’t signed. He warned everyone involved that this would be the last time he waived the sanctions and they need to come to an agreement in this period. In the statement, Trump warned: “Either fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw. This is a last chance.”

According to the US president, the European allies need to agree to sanctions of Iran’s nuclear program, and they have to ramp up inspections of all Iranian sites. Furthermore, the expiration dates are to be eliminated for the limits on Iran’s enrichment levels and “In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately,” Trump said. “No one should doubt my word.”

US and Europe talks

The negotiations of the side agreement are happening at the moment, and the diplomats from Britain, Germany, and France have visited the US to discuss the matter. So far the European leaders have met with the US on three occasions, and they have had several discussions via teleconference.

America is represented by the State Department’s policy planning director Brian Hook, however, it is still “too early to tell” whether side deal will be penned. So far the two sides have agreed on ballistic missiles and inspections, but they are still arguing when it comes to the expiration dates. On top of that, we need to point out that all of the EU countries need to agree with the new agreement in order for the EU sanctions to go on, but at this point, Italy is the most skeptical and they may veto the proposal. Meanwhile, a senior State Department official said: “The President will be presented with a range of options so that he can make a decision.”

What is the next step?

On Tuesday, Trump said: “Nobody knows what I’m going to do on the 12th,” In the meantime, he told Macron: “Although, Mr. President, you have a pretty good idea,” right after that Macron stated: “I do not know what President Trump will decide regarding the JCPOA,” JCPOA standing for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action also known as the Iran Deal.

Trump apparently wants to get rid of the old deal entirely because of its “decayed foundation” and not just modify it. He added: “We’ll see also if I do what some people expect, whether or not it will be possible to do a new deal with solid foundations.”

What is Iran’s Response?

Iran has already mentioned repeatedly that they don’t want a new deal. Their Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: “You reach an agreement, you keep that agreement, you implement that agreement. You don’t ask for more.” He also added: “Obviously the rest of the world cannot ask us to unilaterally and one-sidedly implement a deal that has already been broken.” Zarif also pointed out that the nuclear weapon is not what Iran is pursuing with the nuclear program.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned: “I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments, the Iranian government will firmly react.”