‘China Most Likely To Fill the Shoes Of The U.S.’ In Iran Nuclear Deal

May 10, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — After pulling the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration plans to put strong sanctions on Iran “very soon.”

“We have terminated a terrible, terrible deal that should have never, ever been made,” he said. “And we will be putting on among the strongest sanctions that we’ve ever put on a country.”

Trump told reporters about the plan about 24 hours after officially withdrawing from the Obama-era agreement, calling it “defective at its core.”

Trump said the new sanctions are mostly drawn up.

Trump added the deal is was “one-sided” and “not appropriate,” and that he’s waiting to see how Iran will respond — but he expects resistance at first.

“Probably, we won’t do very well with them, but that’s okay,” he said.

Angered by Trump’s decision to pull out, Iranian lawmakers said Wednesday the move could lead to the resurrection of Tehran’s nuclear program.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he hoped European countries, China and Russia can work without the United States to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“If you want to have a deal, we need practical guarantees otherwise they will do the same as the U.S.,” Rouhani said. “If they can’t give definitive guarantees, it won’t be possible to continue.”

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said “I am not sure whether the European signatories of the deal will fulfill their promises.”

The multilateral international agreement was brokered in July 2015 by former President Barack Obama’s administration, China, Russia, Germany, France, Britain and the European Union — all of whom expressed disappointment and regret at Trump’s move to withdraw.

“The international reach of U.S. sanctions makes the U.S. the economic policeman of the planet, and that is not acceptable,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday in an interview on France Culture radio.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the deal is “not dead,” despite Trump’s move.

France will continue to push for a broader deal with Iran, “whether the United States participates or not,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly said Tuesday, noting the Iranians are “respecting” the agreement. Germany said Monday it would remain in the deal.

The European Union has rebuked Trump over his move to break the deal, telling the US president he does not have the power to unilaterally scrap the international agreement.

In a statement delivered on Tuesday night EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the US should reconsider its position, but that it was not within the power of the country’s president to end the accord.

Speaking in Rome the EU’s Ms Mogherini said Europe “regrets” Mr Trump’s new policy, but added: “As we have always said the nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement and it is not in the hands of any single country to terminate it unilaterally.

‘The deal belongs to each and every one of us,” Mogherini said.

If the deal could be saved, it’s not yet clear which global power among the six signatories will fill the void left by the United States’ departure.

“China is the country most likely to fill the shoes of the U.S.,” analyst Alex Vatanka, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, told Business Insider. “It might not be a bad move for China to speak up and present themselves as the one actor that can come in — together with the Europeans and the Russians — to fill the vacuum left by the U.S.”

Iran is vital to China’s geoeconomic ambitions as it develops its trillion-dollar “One Belt, One Road” strategy aimed at dramatically boosting its ties to the Middle East, Europe and Africa. So have others.

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