Trump gambles on different path to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions

Ruben Fields
May 11, 2018

An official spokesman for the energy ministry said Tuesday that following the USA decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran, Saudi Arabia "would work with major producers within and outside OPEC, as well as major consumers to mitigate the impact of any potential supply shortages".

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has long said it would match any Iranian weapons development, but Jubeir's renewed vow came after US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of an accord created to prevent Tehran's path to a bomb.

"I'm glad President Trump has fulfilled his campaign pledge to withdraw the United States from the shameful and misguided Iran Nuclear Deal negotiated under the Obama Administration", U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., said in a statement.

Several refiners in Asia said they were seeking alternatives to Iranian supplies. "And hopefully, that won't be the case".

The comments came a day after Trump announced he was withdrawing the USA from the accord with Iran, abruptly restoring harsh sanctions in the most consequential foreign policy action of his presidency.

Asked by ABC News what he would do if Iran moves forward in restarting the program, Trump wasn't specific but again warned Iran of "severe effect".

Ignoring pleas by allies, Trump on Tuesday pulled out of an worldwide deal with Iran that was agreed in 2015, a move that raises the risk of conflict in the Middle East and casts uncertainty over oil supplies in an already tight market. They hobbled Iran's economy, for instance, and it has not recovered, despite the regime receiving much of the deal's financial benefit upfront.

"The inspections are under way, and if they move things, they leave behind a very, very important mark called isotopes", he said.

He asserted that the "decaying, rotten structure of the agreement" is not able to prevent "an Iranian nuclear bomb". The sanctions are the most pressing since Iran is a main source of oil for the Western world.

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CNN Money reported that Boeing had been preparing to slow the Iran deals before Trump's announcement on Tuesday.

"At the very least, the International Monetary Fund figures now look very optimistic", said Jason Tuvey, Middle East economist at Capital Economics.

Previously, he made good on his promise to scrap USA participation in the Paris climate accord, another bad deal for the US agreed to by Obama, and to move the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in recognition of Israel's right to name its own capital.

That's a no-brainer for this president, who "spent more than a year studying the deal", Bolton writes. He added, "Notwithstanding the new guidance and mindful of decisions made regarding aluminum and steel tariffs, countries will likely reach out to the seek clarification as to exactly what will be demanded of them and their companies".

Speaking at a rally in IN on Thursday Trump said tough inspections were still needed.

"We have a president who is tough", Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani told exiled Iranian opposition figures at the weekend. This means that the US Treasury could impose fines or even freeze their American assets if they continue to do business in Iran when so-called "secondary sanctions" are imposed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Russia will maintain close coordination on nuclear issues with Iran despite the U.S.'s decision.

"Total Iranian imports may not be too big near term but towards, perhaps, the end of the year we may see a larger impact of this wind-down period", said Mr Nasseri.

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