Sunday , September 23 2018

MACRON WARNS RISK OF WAR IF TRUMP QUITS N-DEAL

Plans in place if US walks: Tehran

DUBAI, May 6, (Agencies): President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday Iran had plans to respond to any move by US President Donald Trump on the 2015 nuclear agreement and the United States would regret a decision to exit the accord.

Trump says that unless European allies rectify “flaws” in Tehran’s deal with world powers by May 12 he will refuse to extend US sanctions relief for Iran. “We have plans to resist any decision by Trump on the nuclear accord,” Rouhani said in a speech carried live by state television. “Orders have been issued to our atomic energy organisation … and to the economic sector to confront America’s plots against our country,” Rouhani told a rally in northeast Iran. “America is making a mistake if it leaves the nuclear accord,” Rouhani said. “If America leaves the nuclear accord, this will entail historic remorse for it.”

Britain, France and Germany remain committed to the nuclear accord but, in an effort to keep Washington in it, want to open talks on Iran’s ballistic missile programme, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 — when key provisions of the deal expire — and its wars in Syria and Yemen. “We will not negotiate with anyone about our weapons and defences, and we will make and store as many weapons, facilities and missiles as we need,” Rouhani said, reiterating a rejection by Iranian leaders of talks on Iran’s missile programme which Tehran says is defensive. “You (US) should know that you cannot threaten this great nation because our people withstood eight year of … defence (in the war with Iraq),” Rouhani said in another speech during his visit to Razavi Khorasan province. “We want to preserve our peaceful nuclear technology for electricity, medicine, agriculture and health … and we do not seek to threaten the world or the region,” Rouhani said.

In a magazine interview, French President Emmanuel Macron warned a decision by Trump to withdraw could lead to war. “We would open the Pandora’s box. There could be war,” Macron told German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, adding “I don’t think that Donald Trump wants war.” Macron urged Trump not to withdraw when he met him in Washington late last month.

Johnson visits
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will begin a twoday visit to Washington, with the Iran nuclear deal, Syria and North Korea on top of the agenda, the Foreign Office said. Johnson will meet US Vice- President Mike Pence, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Congressional foreign policy leaders. “On so many of the world’s foreign policy challenges the UK and US are in lockstep,” said Johnson, highlighting the joint responses to Russian provocations, North Korea and Syria. “The UK, US, and European partners are also united in our effort to tackle the kind of Iranian behaviour that makes the Middle East region less secure — its cyber activities, its support for groups like Hezbollah, and its dangerous missile programme,” he added. Britain remains committed the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in 2015, but Trump has threatened to abandon the agreement when it comes up for renewal on May 12, calling it “insane”. Trump has not informed Israel of whether he will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal it opposes on or before a May 12 deadline, a senior Israeli official said Sunday.

The comments came as Israel pushed its case to have the deal changed or eliminated, arguing intelligence documents it recently unveiled on Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions helped demonstrate why. Some experts believe Trump will pull out of the agreement concluded in 2015 under his predecessor Barack Obama, and which he has harshly criticised. They have also questioned whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s televised unveiling of the trove of tens of thousands of intelligence documents on April 30 was coordinated with Washington.

“In effect, I don’t know what Trump will decide because he hasn’t told me,” the senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity, making clear Israel had not yet been informed of Trump’s decision. The official added however that “I think that he has the same sceptical view.” Proponents of the nuclear deal argued the trove of documents Israel obtained from Tehran shed little new light on Iran’s nuclear programme and in fact made the case for why the accord is important. Netanyahu argues the documents show the deal with his country’s main enemy was built on a lie — Iran denied having pursued nuclear weapons — and demonstrates it has a secret atomic weapons programme ready to activate at any time. World powers that were party to the agreement, including Britain and France, said those arguments only strengthened the reasoning for the deal, which has safeguards in place designed to keep Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons.

They also said the intelligence documents, obtained in February, did not show Iran was violating the deal. US President Donald Trump has not informed Israel of whether he will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal it opposes on or before a May 12 deadline, a senior Israeli official said Sunday. The comments came as Israel pushed its case to have the deal changed or eliminated, arguing intelligence documents it recently unveiled on Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions helped demonstrate why. Some experts believe Trump will pull out of the agreement concluded in 2015 under his predecessor Barack Obama, and which he has harshly criticised.

They have also questioned whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s televised unveiling of the trove of tens of thousands of intelligence documents on April 30 was coordinated with Washington. “In effect, I don’t know what Trump will decide because he hasn’t told me,” the senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity, making clear Israel had not yet been informed of Trump’s decision. The official added however that “I think that he has the same sceptical view.” Proponents of the nuclear deal argued the trove of documents Israel obtained from Tehran shed little new light on Iran’s nuclear programme and in fact made the case for why the accord is important. Netanyahu argues the documents show the deal with his country’s main enemy was built on a lie — Iran denied having pursued nuclear weapons — and demonstrates it has a secret atomic weapons programme ready to activate at any time. World powers that were party to the agreement, including Britain and France, said those arguments only strengthened the reasoning for the deal, which has safeguards in place designed to keep Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons.

They also said the intelligence documents, obtained in February, did not show Iran was violating the deal. Trump could decide by May 12 to reimpose US sanctions on Iran, which had been lifted as part of the agreement. The Israeli official said that while he did not know what action Trump would take, there could be a range of options. He said he believed Trump could decline to renew a waiver on sanctions but use the lag time before they took effect to re-negotiate from a stronger position.

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