Trump’s not the only one who killed Iran deal; Dangers to a free press in Data Protection Bill amendments by London Evening Standard

Once again Donald Trump has stunned the world by doing exactly what he promised to do.

Yesterday he withdrew the US from the agreement the Obama administration brokered with Iran to prevent it acquiring nuclear weapons.

Although the other signatories, Britain included, say they will carry on, the absence of the US and the arrival of their draconian extra-territorial sanctions render it effectively meaningless. But why are we all surprised?

As early as January 2016, the then rank outsider for the presidency told a crowd in Mississippi “who would do a deal like this?”

At the time, no one outside the US paid much attention to Mr Trump.

The co-signatories to that deal, including Britain, assumed that this was just rhetoric. By hugging him close, we would guide this inexperienced occupant of the Oval Office — the wise Athens to his imperial Rome, that arrogant and errant assumption of some British politicians even today.

Boris Johnson was in Washington just two days ago meeting members of the Trump family to persuade them to persuade their father not to walk out.

He should be commended for the Heraclean effort but it didn’t work. Many wish our Foreign Secretary would succeed where he fails and fail where he succeeds.

The mistake, however, would be to see this all as yet another capricious act by the “crazy” Mr Trump.  That is the lazy assumption which enables the foreign policy establishment to shrug their shoulders and say: what can you do?

The truth is, there was a reason that Mr Trump was whipping up that crowd in Biloxi more than two years ago. Other, mainstream, contenders for the nomination were doing the same.

The American conservative family went to war against the Iran deal — principally because Barack Obama had signed it.

Their newspapers wrote editorials and their think-tanks wrote papers undermining it. They found willing allies, including some Democrats, who were suspicious of any arrangement with this Israel-hating, terrorist-supporting, theocratic Iranian regime. They also found allies in Britain.

Our Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, told the influential Right-wing Heritage Foundation in Washington in 2015 that it was “dangerous foreign policy” and a “surrender” by western negotiators (including the then British government).

Mr Trump did what they asked him to do.

Now the oil price is rising, the prospect of conflict is increasing, the threat to Israel growing, the risk of nuclear proliferation spreading and the value of multilateral international agreements is being undermined.

It’s a good example of why you should be careful what you wish for.

Leaders around the world reacted with shock and disappointment as Donald Trump announced the US’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Britain joined France and Germany in recommitting to the Iran nuclear deal after Donald Trump ignored their pleas and pulled the US out of the accord on Tuesday.

The US president said he would impose the “highest level” of economic sanctions on Iran as he claimed the state was on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons.

Tehran immediately responded by warning it would begin enriching more uranium than ever if negotiations with other countries in the pact failed.

President Hassan Rouhani said he would send foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit each of the remaining countries involved in the deal.

Former president Barack Obama said the decision was a “serious mistake” that could leave the US facing “a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East”.

In a joint statement, Theresa May May, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron said the decision was a matter of “regret and concern”.

But Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Mr Trump for the “bold” move and described the agreement as a “recipe for disaster” that had brought the prospect of war closer.

Britain, France and Germany had made strenuous attempts to persuade the US president to preserve the deal.

On Monday, Boris Johnson made a diplomatic dash to Washington in a last-ditch push to win over the president.

The visit came soon after Mrs Merkel and Mr Macron made direct appeals to Mr Trump in face-to-face talks.

But the diplomatic efforts failed to secure even a delay in the announcement.

Speaking in the White House, Mr Trump said the agreement was “disastrous” and a “great embarrassment” to him.

“The Iran deal is defective at its core,” he said. “If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen.

“In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapon.

“Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”

Mr Trump said the move was a sign that the US “no longer makes empty threats”.

“When I make promises, I keep them,” he said.

In a joint statement, Mrs May, Mrs Merkel and Mr Macron said they remained committed to the deal.

Donald Trump: US will withdraw from Iran deal

They said: “It is with regret and concern that we, the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, take note of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States of America from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Together, we emphasise our continuing commitment to the JCPOA. This agreement remains important for our shared security.”

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence listen as Donald Trump announces his withdrawal from the Iran deal (REUTERS)

They added: “We encourage Iran to show restraint in response to the decision by the US; Iran must continue to meet its own obligations under the deal, co-operating fully and in a timely manner with IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency) inspection requirements.”

Russia said it was “deeply disappointed” by the president’s decision, saying it was “extremely concerned” that the US was acting in its own “narrow” and “opportunistic” interests and “grossly violating the norms of international law”.

Its Foreign Ministry added: “Washington’s actions undermine international confidence in the IAEA.”

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed by the US, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain with Iran in 2015.

Under its terms, Iran is committed to a peaceful nuclear energy programme.

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