https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran ... SKCN1IE0M9
WORLD NEWSMAY 13, 2018 / 6:44 AM Bolton: U.S. sanctions 'possible' on European firms over Iran
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House National Security adviser John Bolton on Sunday said U.S. sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran were “possible, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he remained hopeful Washington and its allies could strike a new nuclear deal with Tehran.
Bolton struck a more hawkish tone with his comments in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union than Pompeo did when he was interviewed on “Fox News Sunday.” U.S. President Donald Trump on May 8 announced that the United States was withdrawing from a 2015 deal negotiated by the Obama administration. So far, China, France, Russia, the U.K., EU and Iran remain in the accord, which placed controls on Iran’s nuclear program and led to a relaxation of American economic sanctions against Iran and companies doing business there.
Bolton, asked whether the United States might impose sanctions on European companies that continue to do business with Iran, told CNN: “It’s possible. It depends on the conduct of other governments.”
Pompeo said he was “hopeful in the days and weeks ahead we can come up with a deal that really works, that really protects the world from Iranian bad behavior, not just their nuclear program, but their missiles and their malign behavior as well.”
Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran deal has upset European allies, cast uncertainty over global oil supplies and raised the risk of conflict in the Middle East.
Germany’s minister for economic affairs, Peter Altmaier, said on Sunday that Berlin will try to “persuade the U.S. government to change its behavior.”
In an interview with ZDF public television, Altmaier noted that the United States has set a 90-day deadline for foreign firms to comply with the return of sanctions and that this period can be used to convince Washington to change course.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opini ... 08725.htmlClosing the deal: The US, Iran, and the JCPOA
US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal is strategically incoherent.
by Payam Mohseni
On May 8, President Donald Trump framed the withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a dire necessity, calling attention to the "rotten structure of the current agreement" and promising a new era of allied engagement to devise a more robust deal to constrain Iranian ambitions in the region. Trump's decision, however, is strategically incoherent.
On the one hand, he is preaching the old neoconservative rhetoric - doubling down on hawkish policies towards Iran, signalling regime change, and undertaking unilateral US actions against Iran without the support of key historical allies. On the other, he is practising Fortress America on the cheap - pledging to reduce American commitments to the Middle East, announcing removal of troops from Syria, and demanding US allies in the Middle East share the financial burden of American security umbrellas.
The US withdrawal from the JCPOA has laid bare the strategic contradictions inherent in this approach. The United States has abrogated its leadership position on global nuclear non-proliferation while demanding trust and support from allies. It has also reopened the prospect of Iranian nuclear armament while forfeiting the moral and institutional ammunition the US would need to clinch a better deal.
Analysis: Trump's withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal isolates US
If President Trump does indeed wish to "renegotiate" a better deal, he will find it very difficult to do so without international support. No countries - outside the literal handful of Saudi Arabia, Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain - have supported the US withdrawal from the JCPOA. On the other hand, most of the rest of the world are staunchly supportive of the nuclear deal. The EU High Representative pledged to preserve the JCPOA and underlined the importance of common interests and multilateral approaches to resolving outstanding international issues.
The amount of capital - human, diplomatic, and financial - that the US spent, to enable the "toughest multilateral sanctions in history," in the words of former US Secretary of State John Kerry, is difficult to overestimate. These costs included committing vast internal bureaucratic resources to pursue a complex sanctions regime, and in the international arena, engaging in lobbying campaigns with heavyweights such as China and Russia to pass UN Security Council resolutions against Iran that these countries strongly opposed. Fifteen years of heavy costs incurred by the US and allies have been wasted for no tangible return, all while reopening the Pandora's box of nuclear non-proliferation concerns regarding Iran.
The deal will likely limp on in the short run, sustained by the diplomatic perseverance of the EU and Iranian calculations. However, in the future, the EU will likely be unable to maintain this role in the face of forceful US dissent. In other words, their ability to provide significant economic relief to Iran against the likely wave of US secondary sanctions will be minimal and thus result in the dismemberment of the deal.