Opinion The Coming Crisis With Iran

23:56  20 april  2017
23:56  20 april  2017 Source:   The New York Times

Rouhani defends record as Iran hard-liner bids to replace him

  Rouhani defends record as Iran hard-liner bids to replace him <p>President Hassan Rouhani, credited with ending Iran’s international isolation with the landmark nuclear accord in 2015, defended his economic record ahead of next month’s presidential election — a race jolted last week by the surprise entry of a prominent hard-line cleric.</p>Speaking at a news conference in Tehran, Rouhani, who is widely expected to seek a second term, pushed back against criticism that poor Iranians have seen little benefit from the deal and lifting of sanctions. The economy has improved under his government, which stabilized the currency, curbed inflation and bolstered growth, he said on Monday.

Photo by DAVID HOLT | CC BY 2.0. With the appointments of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state and John Bolton as national security adviser, Donald Trump has signaled his preparedness by the May 12deadline to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and ramp up pressure on North Korea if it refuses

Opinion | Op-Ed Contributor. The Coming Crisis With Iran . A third threat may prove the most potent: the Trump administration’s adoption of Saudi Arabia’s obsession with “countering Iranian influence” in the Middle East.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be facing opposition from Iran’s hardliners in the upcoming Presidential election. © Abedin Taherkenareh/European Pressphoto Agency Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be facing opposition from Iran’s hardliners in the upcoming Presidential election. Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

WASHINGTON — President Trump has flip-flopped many times during his first months in office. But none may be as consequential as his decision on April 18 to certify that Iran is abiding by the nuclear deal of 2015, paving the way for further waiving of sanctions. In just a few months, Mr. Trump has gone from promising to “tear up” the nuclear deal to allowing its extension.

U.S. to review lifting of sanctions on Iran - Tillerson

  U.S. to review lifting of sanctions on Iran - Tillerson U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday he had informed Congress of plans to review whether the lifting of sanctions against Iran under the nuclear deal was in the United States' national security interests."President Donald J. Trump has directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the JCPOA is vital to the national security interests of the United States," Tillerson said in a statement.

Logout. Home Newswire The Coming Crisis with Iran . The two moves would have interactive consequences: casting aside the Iran nuclear deal is likely to be read in Pyongyang as indicating that the US cannot be trusted to keep its commitments.

Iran Crisis -- The always precarious state of US relations with Iran , and with the Middle East as a whole, will be blown apart should Trump nix the nuclear deal.

The administration has now said it will conduct a 90-day review of whether lifting sanctions — as required by the nuclear deal — will be in line with American national security interests. But that timeline is not long enough to save the deal and stop the United States and Iran from sliding dangerously back to a path toward war.

There are a number of potential land mines on the near horizon. The first is in Congress, where a bipartisan effort is underway to introduce new sanctions on Iran that, despite the protestations of the legislation’s sponsors, would violate the terms of the nuclear agreement by adding new conditions onto the deal. If this legislation reaches the president’s desk, he will have a choice between rejecting it and keeping the nuclear deal alive, or signing it and causing an international crisis. By certifying to Congress that Iran is in compliance with the deal, it is now more difficult for Mr. Trump to push the United States out of compliance by adopting new sanctions or failing to renew the sanctions waivers. But anything is possible.

Tillerson: Iran deal fails to achieve nuclear-free objective

  Tillerson: Iran deal fails to achieve nuclear-free objective Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Iran nuclear deal fails to achieve its stated objective of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear state.But Tillerson is leaving open the possibility that the Trump administration will uphold it anyway. He says that will be determined by an ongoing review.Tillerson is speaking to reporters after the State Department certified to Congress that Iran is currently in compliance with its obligations under the 2015 deal. He says the Trump administration has no intention of "passing the buck" on Iran to a future administration.Tillerson is also likening Iran's behavior to that of North Korea.

Skripal Crisis : Spain Unable to Act as Independent State Due to EU – Journalist. The always precarious state of US relations with Iran , and with the Middle East as a whole, will be blown apart should Trump nix the nuclear deal.

The always precarious state of US relations with Iran , and with the Middle East as a whole, will be blown apart should Trump nix the nuclear deal. Iran is likely to immediately resume production of nuclear-weapon grade materials.

Another emerging threat comes from Iran’s domestic politics. Presidential elections next month may put Iran’s foreign policy back into the hands of the country’s hard-liners, who, much like Mr. Trump, define their country in opposition to the world. Despite the overwhelming support among the Iranian public for the nuclear deal, and despite projected economic growth of 6.6 percent, the re-election of President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, is by no means a certainty.

While Iran’s economy has been growing, the recovery has been driven by renewed oil exports. As a result, most Iranians have yet to see much economic benefit from the sanctions relief brought by the nuclear deal. Real economic growth will require sizable foreign direct investments but international banks have remained hesitant about financing projects in Iran largely because of lingering American sanctions and the fear that the Trump administration will scrap the nuclear deal.

Chinese, Iranian firms to sign first nuclear plant redesign contracts

  Chinese, Iranian firms to sign first nuclear plant redesign contracts Companies from China and Iran will this weekend sign the first commercial contracts to redesign an Iranian nuclear plant as part of an international deal reached in 2015 over Iran's nuclear program, China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. The fate of the Arak reactor in central Iran was one of the toughest sticking points in the long nuclear negotiations that led to the agreement, signed by Iran with the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.In the redesign, the heavy water reactor will be reconfigured so it cannot yield fissile plutonium usable in a nuclear bomb.

If this legislation reaches the president’s desk, he will have a choice between rejecting it and keeping the nuclear deal alive, or signing it and causing an international crisis . Another emerging threat comes from Iran ’s domestic politics.

The always precarious state of US relations with Iran , and with the Middle East as a whole, will be blown apart should Trump nix the nuclear deal. Iran is likely to immediately resume production of nuclear-weapon grade materials.

If Mr. Rouhani is punished at the ballot box, there will be trouble. It would have been difficult enough for the deal to survive a Trump presidency. But to survive both Mr. Trump and a hard-line president in Iran may prove impossible.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaking in Washington on Wednesday. © Mark Wilson/Getty Images U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaking in Washington on Wednesday. A third threat may prove the most potent: the Trump administration’s adoption of Saudi Arabia’s obsession with “countering Iranian influence” in the Middle East. While the Obama administration viewed the Saudi-Iranian rivalry as a source of instability and urged the two Middle Eastern powers to learn to share the region, the Trump administration seems to have opted to make the Saudis’ conflict with Iran its own. The main arena for this confrontation is Yemen, where the United States is ramping up its support for Saudi Arabia’s bombardment as a means to combat what it believes is Iranian influence.

For the nuclear deal to endure, tension between Washington and Tehran on other issues must be contained or the nuclear deal must be sufficiently insulated to survive external turbulence. It is difficult to see, for instance, how the deal can remain in place while the United States and Iran engage in direct or indirect confrontations throughout the region.

Iran foreign minister says U.S. must meet own obligations for nuclear deal

  Iran foreign minister says U.S. must meet own obligations for nuclear deal Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks out after comments made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" to destabilize countries in the Middle East as the Trump administration launched a review of its policy toward Tehran that will include the 2015 nuclear deal.

For the full article: The Coming Crisis with Iran Words By Mel Gurtov. The always precarious state of US relations with Iran , and with the Middle East as a whole, will be blown apart should Trump nix the nuclear deal.

Then came president Bill Clinton’s harsh sanctions, followed by Bush’s threats to attack Iran —themselves a serious breach of the United Nations charter. Even steps in these directions would mitigate the upcoming crisis with Iran .

If the United States reneges on its obligations under the deal, Iran is likely to follow suit and start expanding its nuclear activities — regardless of who wins the presidential elections. As Iran gets closer to possessing a nuclear weapon, the United States will once again inch closer to war. That was precisely the situation in 2012 and 2013: Faced with the realization that the United States’ sanctions policy was more likely to lead to war than to Iran’s capitulation, President Barack Obama decided to double down on finding a diplomatic solution through secret talks held in Oman. This time around, the American president won’t have a diplomatic exit ramp.

For many of the hawks in Washington, this is a lesser problem than the constraints the nuclear deal has imposed on the United States’ ability to confront Iran elsewhere. That is not an accident: The deal aimed to make an escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran more difficult and costly for both countries. For Iran, this has restrained its policy on Israel. Iran’s actions and rhetoric on the Jewish state have shifted remarkably ever since nuclear negotiations began. Iran’s stance on the 2014 Gaza war is a case in point: Tehran remained relatively silent and did little to add fuel to the fire compared with what it might have done under other circumstances. The Iranians understood that they could not secure and sustain a nuclear deal with the United States without shifting their posture on Israel.

And therein lies the true promise of the nuclear deal: Precisely because of its value, both sides are incentivized to contain their other disputes to ensure its survival. Over time, this could convert the United States and Iran from sworn enemies into mere competitors.

During the negotiations, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, told me numerous times that he was frustrated that Washington didn’t recognize that the nuclear deal could be a base rather than the ceiling for American-Iranian relations. It could create the possibility of America losing an enemy in the Middle East. When was the last time that happened?

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

The Latest: Trump says Iran not living up to nuclear deal .
President Donald Trump says Iran is not living up to the "spirit" of the nuclear agreement.4:20 p.m.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!