India studying effect of United States withdrawal from Iran deal


Having returned from North Korea on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will begin talks in coming days to persuade allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia to press Iran to return to negotiations over its nuclear and missile programs, US officials said.

France urged Europeans to stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump over the Iran nuclear deal and not act as "vassals", as the region scrambles to save the 2015 accord and billions of dollars in trade.

Despite the U.S. exit, Britain and Iran expressed their commitment to ensuring that the accord is upheld, according to a statement released by British Prime Minister Theresa May's office.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking in Dublin, declared: "We are stakeholders" and will remain so.

As they grapple with the short-term threat of USA sanctions, European officials are debating how to protect the bloc in the long term against the overseas reach of American law.

But the U.S. ambassador in Berlin, Richard Grenell, said firms should question the morality of doing business with Iran.

I can not think this loss will advance our ability to conduct future negotiations with other heads of state. In a separate interview on CNN's "State of the Union", he said Iran's economic condition is "really quite shaky", so the impact of sanctions "could be dramatic". "But not anymore!" Trump tweeted.

But while Pompeo talked up the prospect of renewed coordination with America's allies, another top aide reminded Europe its companies could face sanctions if they continue to do business with the Middle Eastern power. "Now, that will not happen!"

By pulling out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, President Donald Trump has all but undone the results of more than a decade-long global effort to bring about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran's allies, Russian Federation and China, as well as the European countries that participated in the years-long negotiation on JCPOA, oppose it.

Germany's minister for economic affairs Peter Altmaier said last week that Berlin will try to "persuade the U.S. government to change its behaviour".

It has been estimated that despite sanctions in place prior to the deal, at least $1bn in cash was smuggled into Iran through front companies in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, went a step further and argued that Europe can not accept Trump's decision, but follow its own values.

As a private citizen, Bolton suggested in the past that the United States push for a change in Iran's government.

Iranian leaders have said they will begin enriching uranium again, in a move toward building nuclear weapons.

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said Saturday that 11 Iranians were among the pro-regime fighters killed in strikes by Israel, which has vowed to prevent Iran from gaining a military foothold in neighbouring Syria.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the decision underscores the need for Europe to take increasing responsibility for peace and security, similar to the message she delivered after Trump's debut at last year's G7 summit.