It’s clear President Donald Trump intends to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, according to one European diplomat, The Washington Examiner reported.
“It’s pretty obvious to me that unless something changes in the next few days, I believe the president will not waive the sanctions,” the diplomat said in a statement provided on the condition of anonymity, the Examiner reported.
Trump faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether he will renew sanctions targeting the Central Bank of Iran, which former President Barack Obama waived under the terms of the 2015 agreement.
“I would like to pretend to you today that I feel that there is a chance of the existing [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] remaining intact — I think that that chance may exist but it is very small,” the diplomat wrote, the Examiner reported.
“In the end, what the Europeans wanted out of Trump was something that he never was going to give, which is a blanket of security for their companies to continue increasing investment in Iran,” Richard Goldberg, an Iran sanctions expert and senior advisor at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Washington Examiner. “That's something that was antithetical to the ideal American policy.”
According to the Examiner, if Trump opts for what some are calling a “soft exit” and Iran remains in the pact, that might create space for another round of western negotiations before a mid-summer deadline to renew or waive additional sanctions.
“I don't know that it's actually a 'soft exit' rather than an escalation inside the diplomacy and negotiations with the Europeans,” Goldberg told the news outlet. “And that has not been clarified as part of the mystery of what the president is going to do.”
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