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Home / World / Trump's better dealings with Iran look very much like Obama

Trump's better dealings with Iran look very much like Obama

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                  President Donald Trump talks to reporters after signing additional sanctions on Iran in June. | ​​Alex Brandon / AP Photo </p>
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Foreign Policy

Trump has repeatedly urged Iran to negotiate, said that Tehran's nuclear ambitions are its main concern, and talked about points that experts say will repeat the deal of 2015.

Donald Trump Lasts Long The 2015 Iranian nuclear deal was categorized as "the worst deal of all time", a "catastrophe" that did not adequately cover the shameful behavior of the Islamist-led country.

In the last few years However, the president has pointed out that the Barack The Obama era agreement may not be so bad.

Continuing the following story

Trump has the Iran has repeatedly been called upon to negotiate with him, saying that Tehran's nuclear ambitions are its main concern – "Many progress has been made. And they'd like to talk, "Trump said at the White House on Tuesday, with his aides and allies recently suggesting that Iran and other countries should follow the guidelines of a deal they themselves considered worthless.

At times, analysts say and former officials that it sounds like Trump wants to make a deal That's essentially the same agreement that his predecessor at the White House met-even though he was never ready to admit it. Iranian officials seem to be ready To spur him on and say they will talk as long as Trump repeals the sanctions he has imposed on them, and returns to the Iran deal of 2015. And when the European ministers warn that the existing deal Trump has the Iranian Ato abolished because it was Barack Obama's agreement, "said Jarrett Blanc, a former State Department official who overseen the implementation of the 2015 agreement. "If you presented the same deal to Trump and called him Trump's deal, he would be thrilled."

The government's confusing message delivery is the result of a war between two major factions, US officials say, with Trump in its own separate lane. The arguments were deeply frustrating for those involved in the debate. "In the past, even if I personally disagreed with politics, I could explain its logic," a US official said. "I can not do that anymore."

Trump announced the nuclear deal in May 2018 and reinstated the US sanctions on Iran in return for curtailing its nuclear program. He said the deal should have tackled Iran's non-nuclear activities, such as sponsoring terrorist groups, and exceeded the expiration date of some of its clauses.

A year later, Iran continued to abide by the terms of the agreement, hoping that the other countries involved – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – could offer Tehran the economic relief that Trump had taken away. However, since this relief did not materialize, Iran has begun to withdraw from its obligations.

Tehran has recently exceeded uranium enrichment and storage limits and has promised further violations in the coming months. The US has also accused Iran of attacking several international oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, and the Pentagon has sent warships and other troops into the region in response.

When tensions increased, Trump was a voice pushing for a deal.

He said that he "does not seek war," wants to speak to Iran without preconditions, and has no interest in regime change. He has broken off a military strike on Iran over the launching of an unmanned US drone, overriding the advice of several top aides. His most important public demand is that Iran does not build nuclear weapons. In return, Trump has offered to help revive Iran's sanctioned economy.

For observers, this sounds suspiciously like the 2015 deal.

"You can not have a nuclear weapon," Trump said Tuesday. "We want to help you. We will be good to you. We will work with them. We will help you in every possible way. But they can not have a nuclear weapon.

Trump occasionally nods to other disputes with Iran, such as financing militia groups, testing ballistic missiles and Tehran's support for rebels in Yemen, but nuclear weapons dominate his rhetoric.

In June, Jackie Wolcott called for the US Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is inspecting the Iranian nuclear program under the 2015 Agreement, urges Iran to abide by the agreement after a controversial potential infringement was outlined in an IAEA inspection report.

"The Iran has claimed that it continues to comply with the JCPOA, but it is now reported that it clearly violates the agreement, "Wolcott said referring to the agreement's official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The United States is calling on Iran to return immediately to compliance. "

After that, the spokeswoman for the Foreign Minister erium, Morgan Ortagus, asks why the US wants Iran to stick to an agreement that is said to not really limit its nuclear ambitions.

"I do not find it contradictory that since the beginning of this government, we have been vociferously declaring that we do not want the Iranian regime to get a nuclear weapon," Ortagus said. "We think it would be catastrophic for the Middle East. I – we have not changed our position. "

In a statement to POLITICO, a State Department official called the JCPOA" a flawed deal for not resolving our concerns about Iran's nuclear program and destabilizing behavior. The US is seeking an agreement with Iran that will comprehensively address the destabilizing behavior of the regime – not just its nuclear program, but also its missile program, its support for terrorism and its malicious regional behavior. "

Several European officials are amazed at the boldness of The Trump government called on Iran to stick to the deal when the US defied the one who had violated the agreement in the first place. Some said they were not surprised that Iran may have taken action on the Persian Gulf to honor the US's refusal to accept the deal.

The Europeans "know that the original sin caused by the current escalation in the Gulf, the violation of Iran by the US is nuclear agreement," said Nathalie Tocci, adviser to the foreign policy chief of the European Union, Federica Mogherini. "At the same time, they are terribly worried about the escalation and the threat it poses to the Middle East and to Europe itself." Officials and outside observers say there are two competing factions within the Trump administration when it comes to Iran policy.

Both camps are convinced that Iran's Islamist regime is a poor player in the Middle East. Neither cares especially about the nuclear deal, considers it as too weak a document.

But one group, led by national security adviser John Bolton, is simply tougher than the other.

Bolton, who had previously called for a regime change in Iran, and his followers seem to be determined to kill the agreement and increase sanctions, hampering Iran's ability to move beyond its borders. Their version of what the government calls a "maximum pressure campaign" seems to be targeting a larger settlement in Iran, though they are not sure whether this will lead to a US – led overthrow of the regime, or just the conditions for would create a revolt of ordinary Iranians.

The other group does not seem to have a visible leader, but seems prepared to sustain the nuclear deal on a lasting basis while stimulating economic sanctions that deprive the regime of resources. For example, this group hopes for the success of a European financial mechanism to help Iran access unsanctioned goods more easily, potentially helping to keep the business in limbo. In this way, the group argues, Iran can not target a nuclear weapon, but it will not be able to spend so much money on militias and terrorist groups in the region.

A second US official said that a major difference between the two groups is that the Bolton-led garrison does not want to conclude an agreement with Iran, while the other side believes that Iran has sufficient Pressure to negotiate is new, better match than that of 2015 .

"Bolton thinks he's playing the longer game, that he can not leave this government after giving Iran a centimeter," the official said.

It is widely believed that Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo is in the camp that wants a deal, but he has also set a set of 12 conditions for Iran that are so broad that they could affect the chances of the talks , A third US official who confirmed the outline of the internal debate said Pompeo may be concerned about his future in the Republican Party and whether the opening of negotiations with Iran could harm him.

The result is a cacophony of voices for which the administration is being talked about, including some not in sync with Trump.

"We have received very different messages because they do not seem to have the same end goals," said the first US official about the various Trump helpers involved. "We diligently ignore the deal, which is not mentioned in our official talks, but at the same time demand that Iran comply with the terms that were part of the deal."

Blanc, the Obama government official, said what Trump seems to want is a great show he got in his one-on-one talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. But there are serious political risks for Iranian leaders to meet with Trump, especially after the president has abandoned an agreement that was initially difficult to sell to all of Iran's competing political factions.

Trump, Blanc said, "has an instinctive understanding that he will not get this pageant if Iran believes he is pursuing a policy of regime change." he did not want to overthrow the government in Tehran. "By the way, we're not looking for a regime change because some say [we are] is looking for a regime change," he said. "We do not seek a regime change."

In the meantime, Iran appears determined to exploit the divisions within the Trump administration, as well as the rifts between the US and Europe in the Iran deal.

Iran's recent calculated violations of its nuclear promises are designed to increase pressure on Europeans to find ways to circumvent US sanctions. And Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif even uses Twitter to deride the Trump team over these disagreements and to praise the president's best adviser as a "B team."

"As it becomes ever clearer that there will be no better business, you bizarrely press for full observance of Iran ." Zarif tweeted on July 8. " There is a way out, but not with #B_Team as responsible." 19659008] The way out Zarif mentions? Probably a US return to the 2015 nuclear agreement

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