USA has 'very good' talks with Europeans on Iran ultimatum

Pompeo may be even more hawkish on Iran than Trump a bad sign for the Iran nuclear deal

Pompeo may be even more hawkish on Iran than Trump a bad sign for the Iran nuclear deal

Foreign governments are already unsure who is shaping American policy, whom they should contact with questions and requests, and how to handle Trump's often unpredictable, go-it-alone approach to world affairs. Tillerson also called his boss a "moron" after a July 2017 meeting at the Pentagon.

Perhaps most importantly, though, Tillerson defied Trump on Iran.

He wanted to scuttle it when it came up for recertification in July 2017, but his secretary of state advised against it on both diplomatic and security grounds.

He added: "If Trump really wants to secure a deal with Kim Jong-un or use his May summit meeting to launch negotiations on the terms and timelines for North Korean denuclearisation, it would be foolhardy to decide that same month unilaterally discard the Iran nuclear deal, which Iran is complying with and which is effectively blocking Iran's pathways to the bomb".

Tillerson, a former global business executive, was also more sensitive to the opinion of European allies than his boss.

Trump delivered an ultimatum to the European signatories on January 12.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis agreed with Tillerson on Iran.

It spoke of "intensive talks" with Washington to "achieve a clear and lasting reaffirmation of United States support for the agreement beyond May 12". Remember, this is a president who has openly stated that only his views matter when it comes to foreign policy.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that "such replacements in the US establishment are not surprising". USA sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh "waivers" to suspend them on May 12. Since the 2015 nuclear deal that reintroduced Iran to global oil markets, this is only the second worldwide development deal that has reached fruition.

Watch a clip of the interview above, via CBS News.

What St. Patrick's Day is really all about
A previous missionary, Palladius, had not been successful in his mission to convert the Irish, and Patrick replaced him. Outfits on the day ranged from green tutus and gold shamrock hot trousers to fake coloured moustaches and trilby hats.

Analysts say the nuclear agreement, touted at the time as a breakthrough reducing the risk of a devastating wider war in the Middle East, could collapse if Washington pulls out.

Pompeo has made statements advocating "regime change" in Iran and North Korea.

As a congressman, Pompeo vociferously denounced the accord when it was struck.

"You think the president's going to pull out of that Iran deal on May 12th?"

This could unleash a unsafe chain of events in the volatile Middle East.

European powers are shopping around potential sanctions against Iran that would appease the Trump administration but still be legal under the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. "And it doesn't feel to me that they are", he said, cautioning that the situation could change as the deadline itself - May 12 - nears.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has intensively lobbied Trump against the nuclear pact, which he sees as merely delaying Tehran's ability to produce a nuclear warhead.

Iran is governed by conservative Shiite Muslim clerics.

The differences are even more stark on the sunset provisions, which are codified in the nuclear deal and which the Europeans and Iran regard as inviolable, according to the diplomats.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.