Pentagon official: Iran deal still in our best interests

New US State Secretary Could Discourage Global Oil Output

New US State Secretary Could Discourage Global Oil Output

Araqchi made the statement while speaking to reporters after the 11th meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna on Friday, according to a Farsi report by ISNA.

Signatories to Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers have held a new round of their periodic meetings to review its implementation amid USA threats to kill the multilateral accord.

The confidential document also says that the three European nations have been engaged in "intensive talks with the Trump administration to achieve a clear and lasting reaffirmation of United States support for the (nuclear) agreement beyond May 12".

In 2015, Pompeo voted against a deal that the Obama administration negotiated to remove some worldwide economic sanctions on Iran.

Iran has expressed its frustration with President Donald Trump's tumultuous administration in the wake of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's sudden dismissal-but said it hardly expected otherwise.

For his part, Husein Ruoran, an academic specializing in political science at the University of Tehran, has drawn attention to the fact that the nuclear agreement between the United States and Tehran is hanging in the balance due to Trump surrounding himself with military officials.

As a former Middle East analyst at the State Department, though, I think the real drama of replacing America's top diplomat lies in the foreign policy implications. Last October, he said Pyongyang would soon be able to threaten a USA city with nukes, and blasted previous US presidents for failure to stop the perceived threat.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's ouster and his replacement with former Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo will undoubtedly affect USA foreign policy in Middle East, analysts told Sputnik.

The JCPOA was negotiated in the summer of 2015 with provisions that were meant to curb Tehran's nuclear program by reducing the number of its enrichment facilities by two-thirds, cutting its enriched uranium stockpile by 98 percent and keeping enrichment below the weapons-grade level. A US departure from the deal would virtually guarantee that it would be terminated by all parties involved. President Trump has demanded new limits to Iran's ballistic missile testing. But if he eggs on Trump's most belligerent instincts, I believe the Iran deal won't last the year.

The joint document by Britain, France and Germany said they were engaged in "intensive talks with the Trump administration to "achieve a clear and lasting reaffirmation of U.S. support for the agreement beyond May 12".

The added political uncertainty, alongside concerns about the domestic challenges of doing business in Iran - including corruption, a lack of transparency and protectionism - are likely to weaken the country's investment prospects in the coming months and years should the U.S. exit the agreement.

European Union leaders have launched a diplomatic effort to save the agreement, but some reports have said Trump has adopted an uncompromising approach in talks.

However, "if North Korea sees that Iran is held to tough nuclear and missile standards, backed by the credible threat of crippling sanctions, Mr. Trump will be better positioned to make it clear to Pyongyang that he means business", Dubowitz and Goldberg wrote. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said his country would remain in the deal even if the USA withdraws, so long as Iran's interests are protected.

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