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Trump could flip in hours, Iran warns Kim on N-deal

27 held over Ramadan terror plot

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (left), shakes hands with US President Donald Trump (right), after taking part in a signing ceremony at the end of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12. Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un became on Tuesday the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off. (AFP)

LONDON, June 12, (Agencies): Iran warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday against trusting US President Donald Trump, saying he could cancel their denuclearisation agreement within hours. Tehran cited its own experience in offering the advice to Kim a month after Washington withdrew from a similar deal with Iran.

Trump and Kim pledged at a meeting in Singapore on Tuesday to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula while Washington committed to provide security guarantees for its old enemy. “We don’t know what type of person the North Korean leader is negotiating with. It is not clear that he would not cancel the agreement before returning home,” Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht was quoted as saying by IRNA new agency. Nobakht questioned Trump’s credibility.

“This man does not represent the American people, and they will surely distance themselves from him at the next elections,” he said. As well as pulling the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Trump disowned on Saturday a joint communique issued by Group of Seven leaders, just hours after he had left their summit for the meeting with Kim. Trump has said he would be open to striking a new nuclear accord with Tehran.

However, he says the existing deal negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama had failed to address Iran’s ballistic missile programme. On top of this, he also cited the terms under which international inspectors can visit suspect Iranian nuclear sites and “sunset” clauses, under which limits on the nuclear programme start to expire after 10 years.

Trump has insisted any deal with North Korea should include irreversible and verifiable denuclearisation. An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman also advised North Korean leaders on Monday to “exercise complete vigilance” in their negotiations with the United States. “We are not optimistic about these talks … The United States, especially Mr Trump, has undermined international agreements and has unilaterally withdrawn from them,” Bahram Qasemi said.

Trump has also decided to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change accord. Washington will reimpose a wide array of Iran-related sanctions after the expiry of 90- and 180-day wind-down periods, including measures aimed at the oil sector and transactions with its central bank. Other remaining signatories of the deal — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — have criticised the US exit and are still trying to salvage the accord.

Meanwhile, Iran’s intelligence ministry said it had arrested 27 members of a “terrorist network” suspected of planning attacks last week to coincide with the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan. The group plotted to “carry out terrorist operations in Tehran and some other important cities,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.

“They published pictures in cyberspace threatening the honourable nation of Iran with revenge and murder.” It said the attacks were due to take place last week during the Qadr festival and on Jerusalem Day, held each year in solidarity with the Palestinians. A large number of weapons and ammunition were confiscated, the ministry added.

Iran is a key target for Sunni jihadists, who see its Shiite majority as apostates. Iran has also directly fought the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. Its Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday they had fought off three attempts by “terrorist groups” to infiltrate from neighbouring Iraq in recent days, leaving several dead.

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