Herald Middle East

So what Is President Donald Trump Planning in regards to Iran’s Nuclear Deal?

The US President, Donald J. Trump, has been very active ever since he’s taken charge as the President of the States. From Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia, he has made his intentions clear right from the word go.

Iran’s nuclear program is the hot topic these days and a lot was expected from Washington and Trump didn’t disappoint, warning Iran of the consequences if Tehran continues to ‘not live up to the spirits of nuclear agreement’ which was signed between Iran and six world powers including Germany, China, Russia, France, US, and the UK.

The deal was signed under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) according to which, Iran would not carry out secret nuclear advancements.

In a blistering speech, President Trump bashed Tehran for destabilizing the Middle East by supporting extremist groups and that Iran’s nuclear program is a continuous threat to the Middle East which would lead to more violence in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

Stance of Other World Powers

While Iran’s rivals Israel has applauded the US President’s speech, other European allies including Germany, European Union, Britain, and France, along with Russia and China might not respond very well to the shift in US Foreign Policy. Considering the fact that some of these allies have benefited economically from the nuclear agreement, the US might well be at the receiving end for releasing such a statement on its own.

The European allies might as well be thinking of a split with Washington because the international inspection agencies have made it clear that Iran is fulfilling the terms of the agreement as they should.

International Atomic Energy Agency reiterated that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA accord.

Congress’ Role

While Trump hasn’t yet backed off from the agreement, but he has decided to turn to the Congress to decide on the matter of imposing economic sanctions on Iran. The Congress has to decide the matter in no more than two months.

The President has also asked the intelligence agencies to look into the matter of a possible collaboration between Iran and North Korea. The Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate is also working on including ‘Trigger Points’ in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, breaching which, Iran would be subject to economic sanctions instantaneously.

Why is this the right ploy by Trump?

Trump pointed out in his Friday speech that “History has shown that the longer we ignore a threat, the more dangerous that threat becomes,” while referring to the US policy regarding North Korea’s nuclear program in 1994, and possibly linking it to the fact that US is standing at the exact same point with Iran this time around.

From 1979’s American Policy towards Ayatollah Khomeini to Iranian hostage crisis and Iran-sponsored terrorism in Lebanon in 1983 and shooting down of an American warship by Iran in 1987-88, the relationship between Tehran and Washington have never been peaceful, to say the least.

Iran has openly vowed to destroy America by chanting ‘Death to America’ in the assemblies, which was condemned by Trump in his UN speech terming Iran as a “reckless regime – one that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room”.

Iran however, started building more missiles in response to Trump’s hostile speech, which shows Iran’s attitude towards the nuclear policy and its willingness to fulfill the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

The Economic Side of the Issues

According to Trump, the JCPOA “also gave the regime an immediate financial boost and over $100 billion its government could use to fund terrorism”.

The sanctions which were previously imposed on Iran regarding the Uranium enrichment saw its economy cripple big time while also diminishing the oil revenues manifold, costing Iran $160 billion.

Trump’s speech that the US won’t certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement has raised serious concerns for Tehran, following which, if the deal is canceled, Iran’s economy is likely to witness a downward trend which doesn’t bode well for the country.

Not just this, the low oil prices are a bit of a worry for Tehran, which enjoyed a growth in the GDP after the Nuclear Deal signing.

Being the sixth largest producer of oil in the world, the sanctions could highly impact the global economic dynamics, allowing more power to Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the likes.

However, if other allies stand with Iran and single out Washington, the situation may get worse for Trump as he already has a war of words going on against North Korea and he cannot afford other enemies like Iran.

The allies have turned a blind eye towards the Middle East crisis and the destabilizing acts carried out by Iran in the region mainly due to the economic benefits they’re getting from the Iran Nuclear deal. The significance of the pact cannot be undermined looking at its global economic impacts.

This is one thing that can go against the Trump administration and when Saudi Arabia is turning towards Russia in a bid to depend less on the oil industry and to collaborate with Moscow on multiple fronts, the US may get the feeling of being left behind. However, the Kingdom has strong ties with America and the recent deals between the two countries suggest that the two countries complement each other well.

With Saudi Arabia condemning the acts of violence by Tehran in the Middle East, as pointed out clearly by the Saudi Monarch King Salman in Moscow, and the developing ties between Saudi and Russia may ring the bells to Hassan Rouhani.

However, it is highly unlikely that Russia will go against its ally Iran. But, if that happens, it might single out Iran, considering the fact that two superpowers of the world will be shying away from the pact leaving it in tatters. In that case, ‘Death to America’ may well become ‘Death to Iran’.

The next few months are going to be crucial in deciding the global economy and the fate of Iran.

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