|US President Donald Trump said the US won’t allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons.
The Iran nuclear deal was negotiated by Iran and the P5+1 (the UK, France, the US, China, Russia, and Germany) in 2015. Iran agreed to narrow its nuclear program in return for the removal of almost all sanctions. The deal was seen as a diplomatic triumph for US President Barack Obama. But since President Donald Trump took office, he has been threatening to unilaterally withdraw or abandon the deal, which he calls one of the worst deals ever.
Since the deal was signed, the IAEA has released regular reports on Iran’s activities. On Monday, the IAEA reported that Iran has frozen some of its nuclear activities and its uranium reserve for civil purposes doesn’t exceed the agreed amount of 300 kg. Iran has no plan to re-design its Arak nuclear reactor to be able to produce a nuclear weapon.
But the IAEA’s reports are worthless to the Trump administration. At a meeting with military officials at the White House last Thursday, Trump said the US won’t allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons. The US must deter Iran’s nuclear ambition because of Iran’s support for terrorism, the main cause of violence and instability in the Middle East. Trump says Iran is not living up to the “spirit” of the agreement. He has announced that the US will withdraw from the deal on Thursday and Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran.
Iran has threatened retaliation if the US imposes more sanctions. At a UN General Assembly meeting, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said President Trump has a hostile attitude and makes statements about Iran which don’t promote peace or respect international relations. He said Iran will not unilaterally break the deal but will quit it and return to its nuclear program in a few hours if the US imposes sanctions. Iran considers Israel a threat to global security with its huge nuclear arsenal and a US-Israel alliance poised to invade the Middle East.
These reciprocal warnings have alarmed the world community. French President Emmanuel Macron said there is no alternative to the nuclear deal signed in 2015. If the US quits, it will isolate itself because the EU supports the deal. Russia has also warned of negative consequences. Experts say the US’s pullout would trigger an arms race and worsen the situation in the Middle East.