Trump To Announce Iran-Nuclear-Deal Decision On May 8
RFE/RL May 07, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will announce his decision on the U.S. participation in the nuclear accord between Iran and world powers on May 8.
"I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2 p.m.," Trump tweeted on May 7.
The announcement comes ahead of a May 12 deadline for the U.S. administration to decide whether to keep supporting the landmark 2015 nuclear deal or reimpose sanctions on Iran.
Trump has threatened to pull out of the deal by not extending sanctions waivers when they expire on May 12, unless European signatories of the accord fix what he has called "serious flaws."
Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of Germany and France have joined Britain's foreign minister in a public push to convince Trump not to pull out of the nuclear deal.
Speaking in Berlin on May 7 at a joint press conference with the French foreign minister, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said: "We believe that this agreement makes the world safer and without this agreement the world would be less safe. We fear a failure [of the nuclear accord] would result in an escalation."
Mass was speaking at a joint news conference with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who said France, Germany, and Britain had resolved that they will stick to the Iran nuclear deal irrespective of Trump's decision.
"We are determined to save this deal because this accord safeguards against nuclear proliferation and is the right way to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon," le Drian said on May 7.
Trump has also accused Iran of violating the spirit of the accord by supporting militant activity in the Middle East and by continuing to test ballistic missiles.
In Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on May 7 that the United States would regret a decision to leave the nuclear deal and that Tehran would fiercely resist U.S. pressure to limit its influence in the Middle East.
"If they want to make sure that we are not after a nuclear bomb, we have said repeatedly that we are not and we will not be.... But if they want to weaken Iran and limit its influence, whether in the region or globally, Iran will fiercely resist," Rohani said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
In a separate comment on the Iranian presidency's website, Rohani said on May 7 that his country would remain in the nuclear accord even if the United States withdrew, on the condition that the other parties stay.
"Either what we want from the nuclear deal is guaranteed by the non-American parties, or it is not the case and we will follow our own path," Rohani said on the website.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on May 7 warned that Tehran's "fierce reaction to a violation of the nuclear deal with major powers will not be pleasant for America."
The nuclear deal was signed during the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, and it provides Tehran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China also signed the accord.
Boris Johnson, Britain's foreign secretary, is scheduled to meet with U.S. officials during his current trip to Washington.
He also is scheduled to make a series of appearances on U.S. television programs in a bid to convince Trump and his supporters that it is a bad idea to withdraw from the nuclear deal.
In an opinion piece published on May 6 in The New York Times, Johnson wrote that the accord was the best option available at this time.
"It has weaknesses, certainly, but I am convinced they can be remedied. Indeed, at this moment Britain is working alongside the Trump administration and our French and German allies to ensure that they are," he wrote.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, BBC, CBS, The New York Times, dpa, and Deutsche Welle
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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