From daily News Line in Britain:
IRAN has suspended its commitments under the 2015 international nuclear deal, a year after it was ripped up by President Trump.
President Hassan Rouhani said he would keep enriched uranium stocks in the country and would resume production of uranium enriched to a higher level in 60 days.
The 2015 accord was aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear power in return for sanctions relief. Iran-US tensions have risen since Washington quit.
Trump ripped up the deal and imposed massive new sanctions on Iran in an attempt to destroy its economy to encourage regime change.
Iran informed the remaining parties to the deal – France, Germany, Russia, China and the UK – of its decision on Wednesday morning.
In response, French Defence Minister Florence Parly told French media that the European powers were doing everything they could to keep the deal alive but there would be consequences and possibly sanctions if the deal was not adhered to.
China and Russia both blamed Washington’s withdrawal from the deal for the current situation.
Iran’s announcement comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unscheduled visit to Iraq, and after a US aircraft carrier-led battle group was deployed to the Gulf region.
Rouhani said he was suspending two parts of the deal, which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that Iran was adhering to: the sale of surplus enriched uranium and heavy water.
He then gave the European powers, Russia and China 60 days to meet their financial and oil commitments to the deal. If they did so, Iran would resume the sales.
If, however, those commitments were not met and the European powers chose to follow US sanctions, he said Iran would begin higher enrichment of uranium, which is currently capped, and begin developing its Arak heavy water reactor based on plans made prior to the deal.
The Iranian president said, ‘We do not want to leave the agreement. All the people of the world should know that today is not the end of the JCPOA; it is a new step within the framework of the JCPOA.’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, fresh from anti-Iran talks in Baghdad with the Iraqi leadership, arrived in the UK yesterday and told PM May that if the UK collaborated with the Chinese firm Huawei, the US might be forced to reduce its presence in the UK and cut its intelligence partnership, putting an end to any ‘special relationship’.
Hunt told the Guardian on Tuesday that he had regrets that his country’s policy on Libya has failed since London and allies in the NATO military alliance launched an invasion in 2011 to oust long-time ruler Muammar Gadaffi.
‘We have not covered ourselves in glory with our policy on Libya. Let us face it,’ Hunt said.
He added that if London knew that Libya would become a hotbed of militancy in North Africa, it would have had second thoughts on the 2011 invasion.
He said: ‘If we knew in 2011 we would be in the situation we are now, we would be asking ourselves some searching questions.’
Echoing the US line, he said ‘Britain should take a lesson from its failure in the 2011 invasion of Libya and allow Haftar to have a role in the future Libyan government.’
‘We do not agree with what Haftar is doing. We do not think it is possible for Haftar to achieve a military victory, and as a government he will not be seen as legitimate. So we want a political process,’ he said.