The U.S. can impose severe penalties for trading with Iran, but Trump administration has flexibility to grant exceptions.
President Trump declared on Tuesday that he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal… Iran said it will remain in the deal… So did France, Germany and Britain, raising the prospect of a trans-Atlantic clash as European companies face the return of American sanctions for doing business with Iran… Mr. Trump’s announcement capped a frantic four-day period in which American and European diplomats made a last-ditch effort to bridge their differences and preserve the agreement. That effort began Friday, when Mr. Pompeo called his counterparts in Europe to tell them that Mr. Trump was planning to withdraw from the deal, but that he was trying to win a two-week reprieve for the United States and Europe to continue negotiating. Mr. Pompeo, people familiar with the talks said, suggested that he favored a so-called soft withdrawal, in which Mr. Trump would pull out of the deal but hold off on reimposing some of the sanctions.
An Iranian military base in Syria was attacked on Tuesday, sources confirmed to Fox News. At least nine people died in the attack, Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in Britain, told AFP.
UANI IN THE NEWS
If you’re doing business in Iran, there’s a prospect that you’re doing business with a terror-linked firm. We know that dual nationals in Iran are in great danger of being detained. Iran is one of the most aggressive users of hacking.
I would say that it remains unclear as to what's going to happen in coming days because much depends on the speed, scope and scale of these sanctions, what the Iranians decide to do and how Europe decides to cooperate. But this definitely will make it more likely that confrontation will appear between the United States and Iran, just as it may make it more likely that the regime itself will continue to erode. What I don't believe it will mean is in the near term - in the very near term - the Iranians will march towards a nuclear weapon because that would just bring the entire world against them.
Here’s what the president should look for in a new nuclear agreement with Tehran.
A veteran who was wounded by a bomb in Iraq [ Robert Bartlett] had the ultimate response to President Donald Trump pulling out of the Iran deal on Tuesday… Bartlett responded by simply saluting the president and stating, “Thank you, Mr. President, I really appreciate it.” “It’s a great anniversary for me, I mean, thirteen years ago last Thursday we got blown up,” he said. Bartlett, who now works as an adviser for United Against Nuclear Iran, added that he knows Iran was using the money released to them in the nuclear deal to spread terror.
Hezbollah is a part of Lebanon’s political process, and, like all other Lebanese parties, it freely and openly ran in the country’s first parliamentary elections in nine years, winning almost all seats it was contesting. However, for U.S. policymakers, acknowledging Hezbollah’s place in the Lebanon’s political pantheon cannot mean accepting it. Instead, it must serve as a basis to understand and reverse the source of the Shiite group’s political power: not its arms, but its popular support.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said that France regretted the United State’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and that he would work towards a broader agreement that also encompassed Iran’s ballistics program and regional activities.
President Hassan Rouhani warned Tuesday that Iran could restart enriching uranium “without any limitations” within weeks, after President Donald Trump pulled America out of the nuclear deal, though he said world powers still in the accord could potentially save the pact.
Iran’s supreme leader chastised President Donald Trump on Wednesday over his decision to pull America out of the 2015 nuclear deal, while lawmakers lit a paper U.S. flag on fire inside parliament, shouting, “Death to America!”
Iran's supreme leader has challenged U.S. President Donald Trump over America pulling out of the nuclear deal, saying: "You cannot do a damn thing!"
While Europeans are dismayed by decision, Israel and Saudi Arabia express strong support for it.
President Trump on Tuesday withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, rightly calling it “defective at its core.” Yet he also offered Iran a chance to negotiate a better deal if it truly doesn’t want a nuclear weapon. Mr. Trump’s challenge now is to build a strategy and alliances to contain Iran until it accepts the crucial constraints that Barack Obama refused to impose.
Trump’s courageous decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal will clarify the stakes for Tehran. Now we’ll see whether the administration is capable of following through.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal should be viewed as condign punishment for the disingenuous way Barack Obama and his staff sold the agreement to the American public.... Stunningly, Trump is not doing what democracies almost always do: Punt problems down the road, where they inevitably become far worse.
Now that President Donald Trump has officially withdrawn the U.S. from the Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the world has to figure out how to live with that decision.
SANCTIONS & OTHER BUSINESS RISKS
President Trump signed an executive order that will withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal. The presidential memo starts a 180-day countdown timer for the Trump administration to re-impose all of the sanctions on Iran that were relaxed under the Obama-era deal. The order specifies that many of the sanctions should be re-imposed in 90 days — by Aug. 6.
European leaders opened a diplomatic push Wednesday to salvage the Iran nuclear accord without the United States, opening direct talks with Tehran but also looking ahead to possible battles with Washington over European business ties with Iran.
The European Union has moved to protect the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement by vowing to take steps to immunise European firms doing business with Tehran from any US sanctions.
Major companies, particularly in Europe, could see billions of dollars in commercial deals canceled because of the U.S. decision to reinstall sanctions on Iran, though the ultimate impact remains unclear due to the possibility of renegotiations and exemptions, experts say.
European companies moved quickly to invest in Iran after it agreed in 2015 to mothball its nuclear weapons program in return for an end to economic sanctions… Yet even before President Trump pulled out of the agreement with Iran, many companies had already tempered their expectations and limited their investment. Now their prospects look murkier as European leaders try to determine whether there is a path forward without the United States.
Multinational companies that recently made big bets on Iran scrutinized the Trump administration’s decision to revive sanctions on the country for ways to preserve their interests there.
Washington’s decision to reinstate Iranian sanctions threatens to slowly cut off a chunk of the world’s crude supply—a shift that could redraw global supply lines and require Iran’s big customers to find alternative sources.
President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he will withdraw the U.S. from a nuclear pact with Iran, a move that threatens Boeing's multibillion dollar deals to help restock Iran's aging commercial air fleet. The world's largest aerospace company has agreements to sell planes worth roughly $20 billion to Iranian airlines, based on list prices
[A]s analysts assess whether renewed sanctions will be successful, they point to the fact that China is unlikely to curtail its purchases of Iranian oil, and may in fact increase them. Iran may also find an ally in Russia, also under U.S. sanctions.
It won’t be easy, but Europe and Washington should pressure Iran into suspending missile flight-testing… Indeed, if both sides of the Atlantic are serious about stopping Iran from developing a deliverable nuclear weapon, they should push for a moratorium on nuclear-capable ballistic missile flight-tests.
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
The commander of Khatam al-Anbia Construction Base, the main engineering arm of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), has said that the conglomerate will complete 40 mega-projects in the current Iranian year… According to [him], the organization’s major projects this year are in the oil and gas industry, water management, railway and road construction, port and mine development, oil and gas pipelines, and information technology.
[F]or Trump, the ending of the nuclear deal is the first salvo in a larger campaign to come against the regime in Tehran.
SYRIA, ISRAEL & IRAN
There are increasing concerns Iran is on the cusp of an attack against Israel, several US military officials told CNN. Intelligence is not clear on when an attack could come and what form it would take, they said, with one official noting that "if there is an attack it might not be immediately clear it's Iran”... the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) called up a limited number of reserves Tuesday evening following what the IDF termed the "identification of irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria."
For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, President Trump’s decision on Tuesday to abandon the 2015 agreement was such a wholesale vindication that he abruptly cut short a trip to Cyprus to be in Israel when it was announced.
OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
Wall Street cut losses to end little changed on Tuesday while energy stocks rallied after U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States would quit the Iran nuclear deal, confirming what many investors had expected.
Families of several Americans currently detained in Iran are hoping President Donald Trump’s decision announced on Tuesday to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal will not make it harder to get their love ones freed.
NORTH KOREA & IRAN
Over the past two months, Trump has come to see his policy toward North Korea as a success and believes his unusual combination of insults and biting economic sanctions appears to have brought Kim to the table. Now, Trump wants run the same playbook against Iran.
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
Yemen’s Shiite rebels fired ballistic missiles at the Saudi capital on Wednesday, according to the rebels and Saudi state TV, which said they were intercepted by the military. The cross-border attack by the Iran-allied rebels, known as Houthis, came amid mounting regional tensions after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran.
What happens when the Saudi military's massive budget meets Iran's mastery of asymmetric warfare? Here's a preview.
HEZBOLLAH & LEBANON
The spin in some DC circles has begun to interpret the unofficial results as a win by Hezbollah and its allies. This is a simplistic reading of the outcome. The unofficial results reflect a strong opposition among wide segments of the Lebanese society to Hezbollah’s policies in Lebanon and Syria.