Thursday, 16 August, 2018

USA threatens sanctions against European companies as Iran rift grows

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas USA threatens sanctions against European companies as Iran rift grows
Russell Knight | 14 May, 2018, 03:41

Commenting on the recent developments, political scientists and worldwide relations scholar Özdemir Akbal has said that the thaw in relations between the USA and Iran during their fight against Daesh* has come to an end, as Washington, having secured its anti-Tehran allies' support - Israel and Saudi Arabia - has turned to take decisive action against the Islamic Republic. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the USA president's "brave decision to reject the catastrophic nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran". Despite all this, Trump's decision to pull out of the deal would send wrong signals to rest of the world, and especially to North Korea, who could now be expected not to trust the United States when it comes to signing a nuclear deal. No countries - outside the literal handful of Saudi Arabia, Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain - have supported the United States withdrawal from the JCPOA.

Mr Hook argued the US President's decision will stand in the pursuit of a new deal with Iran that will prevent the rogue state developing nuclear weapons.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the penalties targeted those who had funnelled millions of dollars to the group, funding its "malign activity".

"For as long as Iran abides by the agreement and its compliance has been reported nine times, Britain will remain a party to the JCPOA. We are certain that today China is by our side".

That is part of a flurry of diplomatic activity following Tuesday's unilateral withdrawal from what US President Donald Trump called "a frightful, one-sided deal", a move accompanied by the threat of penalties against any foreign firms doing business in Iran. On the other, he is practising Fortress America on the cheap - pledging to reduce American commitments to the Middle East, announcing removal of troops from Syria, and demanding U.S. allies in the Middle East share the financial burden of American security umbrellas.

But the most stinging result of America's decision to pull out of the Iran deal could be the birth of a new war in the Middle East. Iran, which would be under no restrictions to not follow a nuclear program, has vowed to scale up its preparations of uranium enrichment if the deal collapses.

"If Europe turns to Chinese know-how to circumvent USA sanctions, the United States might find that the country being isolated in this situation is not Iran after all, but itself", the Post said.

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"If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen", Trump said.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said he would work with affected companies to try to "minimise the negative consequences" of the United States move, adding: "That means, it is concretely about damage limitation".

They would have to wind up investments by November or face United States sanctions.

A photo on the official Instagram site of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei showed him reading a Farsi translation of Michael Wolff's scabrous account of the Trump White House, "The Fire and the Fury", quickly picking up more than 100,000 likes.

Mr Trump weighed in later Sunday, saying his decision would limit Iran's regional ambitions.

The extent of his thinking is: "Iran deal bad".

"For the first time, Iran has the chance to show the world they are not the rogue nation they are always presented as, that they negotiated in good faith and keep to their commitments", said Karim Emile Bitar of the Institute for global and Strategic Studies in Paris.

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