EU and Iran 'make good start' on salvaging nuclear deal

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

The danger that military tensions in the Middle East will mount after the USA decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal is growing, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Moscow-based think tank Valdai International Discussion Club Tuesday.

Bolton struck a more hawkish tone with his comments in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" program than Pompeo did on "Fox News Sunday".

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States was exiting an worldwide nuclear deal with Iran and would impose new sanctions that seek to reduce oil exports from OPEC's third-largest producer. He will then go to Brussels to meet counterparts from Germany, Britain and France "about the fate of the nuclear deal", Iranian state television said.

"The Europeans have between 45 and 60 days to give the necessary guarantees to safeguard Iranian interests and compensate the damages caused by the USA pullout", reported.

And Germany said it will spend the next few months trying to persuade Washington to change its mind.

"Do we Europeans want to be vassals standing at attention to obey the decisions of the United States?"

Jefferies said that OPEC has the capacity "to replace the Iranian losses" but added: "Even if physical supply is held constant. the market will still be faced with a precariously low level of spare capacity".

Unlike last time, when a broad global coalition supported the sanctions (wary that the Iranian nuclear program could reach a tipping point), many nations now oppose the reimposition of sanctions.

Washington's withdrawal from the Iran deal has upset European allies, cast uncertainty over global oil supplies and raised the risk of conflict in the West Asia.

Middle Eastern oil-producing countries have benefited this year from rising oil revenues, giving them headroom to increase spending to stimulate economies that faced austerity in the wake of the collapse of the crude price four years ago. "Now, that will not happen!"

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Friday on Europe-1 radio that Europe should not accept that the the "world's economic policeman".

The possible collapse of a deal which had promised to keep Iran in check comes as Israel attacked Iran's military installations in Syria. On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron told Trump in a telephone call that he was anxious about stability in the Middle East, according to Macron's office. In July, Bolton told the Iranian fringe dissident group Mujahedeen Khalq that "the declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs' regime in Tehran". Bolton said on ABC's "This Week". "The policy of the administration is to make sure that Iran never gets close to deliverable nuclear weapons".

In the CNN interview, Bolton did not respond directly when asked whether Trump might seek "regime change" in Iran, or whether the USA military would be ordered to make a pre-emptive strike against any Iranian nuclear facility.

"Certain U.S. allies, including Japan and South Korea, may comply with the proposed of Iranian sanctions on the concern of losing the U.S. security umbrella vis-a-vis North Korea", said Khoman.

Airbus, which is subject to the USA license because it makes at least 10 per cent of its aircraft components in the US, says it will abide by the new USA sanctions but it could take "some time" to determine the full impact on the industry.