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US threatens to withdraw from Iran deal unless it is ‘fixed’

April 30, 2018 at 4:10 pm

US President Donald Trump in Washington, US on 24 April 2017 [Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency]

With President Trump’s recertification date of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), looming in the horizon, the newly appointed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told allies in the Middle East and Europe that the US will withdraw from the deal unless it can be fixed.

Pompeo reiterated US discontent over the deal during his first official foreign trip to the Middle East where he held talks in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan just hours after he was sworn in last Thursday.

“The deal is very flawed,” Pompeo said, and “President Trump has instructed the administration to fix it and if it cannot be fixed the US will withdraw from the deal.” The chief US diplomat has also accused Iran of destabilising the entire region and supporting militants and terrorist groups. Iran however denies the accusations and insists it will not accept any amendments to the deal.

Read: European powers say they are nearing plan to save Iran nuclear pact

If Trump does not recertify the agreement by 12 May US will be able to reinstate sanctions against Iran and it could potentially be the end of JCPOA which Iran agreed with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – plus Germany.

Meanwhile Germany, which along with its European partners has continued to back the deal despite US threats to withdraw, will allow Iran to open three banks in the country to facilitate transactions. Chinese news agency Xinhua, Middle East Bank, Saman Bank and Sina Bank are planning to open branches in German cities to increase Iran’s trade relations with Europe.

German Ambassador to Iran Michael Klor-Berchtold is also reported to have said that Iran-Europe trade relations have increased significantly since the nuclear deal came into force. He went on to say that if Iran fully re-joins the global economy and if its ranking improves, it will benefit much more from the implementation of the nuclear deal.