The Latest: Australia and Japan still support Iran deal
The Latest: Australia and Japan still support Iran deal
The Latest: Australia and Japan still support Iran deal
May. 09, 2018
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision on the Iran nuclear deal (all times local):
Add Australia and Japan to the nations expressing continued support for the multinational nuclear deal with Iran even though the U.S. is pulling out of it.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Wednesday that he regrets President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the landmark pact. Turnbull is urging all parties involved in the pact to show restraint.
In Japan, the Foreign Ministry says Japan continues to support the deal and that it "hopes for a continued constructive response from the nations involved."
World powers involved in the agreement have expressed regret amid concern the move by Trump will undermine efforts to stop the spread of atomic weapons.
Saudi Arabia says it "supports and welcomes" President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from a nuclear agreement reached between Iran and world powers and reimpose sanctions on Iran.
Saudi Arabia had tepidly supported the 2015 deal signed by the Obama administration, but held strong reservations about it.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are rivals locked in proxy wars for regional supremacy.
In a statement published on the state-run news agency late Tuesday, Saudi Arabia says it had supported the nuclear accord in the belief there's a need to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia says Iran, however, exploited the economic benefits of sanctions being lifted to continue destabilizing activities in the region through the development of ballistic missiles and support for militias — issues not addressed in the accord.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says licenses Boeing has to sell billions of dollars in commercial jetliners to Iran will be revoked under the action President Donald Trump has taken to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
Mnuchin briefed reporters after Trump's announcement earlier Tuesday. Mnuchin says the existing sales licenses held by Chicago-based Boeing Co. and its European competitor, Netherlands-based Airbus Group, would be invalidated by Trump's decision. The new sanctions will allow for certain exemptions to be negotiated, but Mnuchin wouldn't discuss what products might qualify for exemptions.
He says the sanctions will also sharply curtail sales of oil by Iran, which is currently the world's fifth-largest oil producer. Mnuchin says he does not expect oil prices to rise sharply, forecasting that other producers will step up their production.
Vice President Mike Pence says the United States can work with its allies to reach a new deal that "limits Iran's malign activity and prevents Iran from ever becoming a nuclear power."
Pence said Tuesday that the U.S. is withdrawing from the 2015 Iran agreement because it can't allow the country to obtain a nuclear weapon. He says the deal "virtually guaranteed Iran's ability to start producing nuclear weapons by 2025."
The vice president says economic pressure brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place. He says the U.S. and its allies can "combine tough-minded American diplomacy and strong economic pressure" to reach a new agreement.
President Donald Trump called the deal "defective at its core" when announcing earlier Tuesday that the U.S. would be pulling out.
Congressional leaders are split, but not neatly along party lines, over President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
Some are welcoming the pullout, believing the 2015 accord was unsound. But others are worried that the U.S. is now in the position of reneging on an international commitment and without a backup plan.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Iran deal "was flawed from the beginning" and that "we can do better."
But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says it appears the Trump White House has no plan going forward. The New York Democrat opposed the deal negotiated by President Barack Obama's administration and world powers in 2015.
The administration — and even Trump himself — briefed leaders ahead of Tuesday's announcement.
The Syrian government is strongly denouncing U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
In a statement Tuesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry says the decision confirms once again America's lack of credibility and commitment to international accords and agreements.
The statement published by the official news agency SANA says the international outpouring of condemnation for Trump's decision indicates America's isolation and its mistaken policies, which will serve to increase tensions around the world.
Iran is Syrian President Bashar Assad's chief regional ally and backer.
Trump called the agreement "a horrible, one-sided deal" based on a lie. The deal lifted most U.S. and international sanctions against Iran, which, in turn, agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program and rigorous inspections.
The new U.S. ambassador to Germany is advising German companies to stop doing business in Iran following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal.
In a tweet just hours after he officially took up his duties, Ambassador Richard Grenell noted Tuesday that Trump said American "sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran's economy."
He added: "German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately."
Germany has Europe's biggest economy and is one of the countries that negotiated the 2015 agreement along with fellow European powers France and Britain.
Trump announced earlier Tuesday in Washington that the U.S. would be pulling out of the landmark nuclear deal. The deal lifted most U.S. and international sanctions against Iran, which, in turn, agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program and rigorous inspections.
Russia's deputy ambassador to the United Nations says he's disappointed at the announcement that the U.S. is pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Dmitry Polyansky was asked whether the U.S. decision might heighten tensions in the Middle East. He responded with one word to reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York on Tuesday: "Sure."
Russia is one of the six signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, which has been endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.
Asked whether the council would meet to consider the U.S. announcement, Polyansky said: "All options are on the table."
President Donald Trump announced earlier Tuesday that the U.S. would be vacating the Iran deal, which he called "a horrible, one-sided deal" based on a lie.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is "deeply concerned" at the U.S. decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and calls on the five other signatories "to abide fully" by their commitments.
The U.N. chief on Tuesday also called on all other U.N. member states to support the 2015 agreement.
Guterres reiterated that the deal "represents a major achievement in nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy and has contributed to regional and international peace and security."
He said it's essential that "all concerns" about implementing the agreement be addressed through the mechanisms in the deal.
Earlier Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would be withdrawing from what he called "a horrible, one-sided deal" based on a lie. The deal was brokered during President Barack Obama's administration.
This item has been corrected to show that Guterres said he was "deeply concerned," not "deeply disappointed."
Former President Barack Obama is calling President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran deal a "serious mistake" that will erode America's global credibility.
Obama's administration brokered the deal. He says Tuesday that Trump's decision to withdraw is "misguided," especially because Iran has been complying.
Obama also warned: "The consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America's credibility, and puts us at odds with the world's major powers."
Obama says that without the deal, the U.S. "could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East."
He says the deal remains a model for what diplomacy can accomplish, including when it comes to North Korea.
The leaders of Britain, Germany and France are urging the United States to refrain from taking action that prevents other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal from continuing to implement it.
In a joint statement Tuesday after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron urged Iran to "show restraint" and continue fulfilling its own obligations such as cooperating with inspection requirements.
They called on Washington to "ensure that the structures of the (deal) can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal."
Trump has said "any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States."
Israel's prime minister is praising President Donald Trump for withdrawing the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Benjamin Netanyahu called Trump's decision Tuesday a "historic move." He says leaving the Iran deal unchanged would be "a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world."
Netanyahu is a leading critic of the deal, saying it did not contain sufficient safeguards to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear-weapons capability or address Iran's other activities across the region.
He says Iran's aggression has grown since the deal, especially in Syria, where he says it is "trying to establish military bases to attack Israel."
Earlier, Israel's military said forces were on high alert and ordered bomb shelters open in the Golan Heights after spotting "irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria."
House Speaker Paul Ryan is hailing President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from a nuclear accord with Iran.
The Wisconsin Republican said Tuesday that "from the beginning, the Obama-era Iran deal was deeply flawed."
Ryan says Iran's hostile actions since the deal was signed have only reaffirmed that it remains dedicated to sowing instability in the Middle East.
Ryan says that he would have preferred to fix the agreement rather than abandon it and that it was "unfortunate that we could not reach an understanding with our European partners" to do that.
He said Trump is "right to insist that we hold Iran accountable both today and for the long-term," adding that he hopes the U.S. will continue to work with allies to address actions by Iran to destabilize the Middle East.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn says President Donald Trump did the right thing by abandoning the Obama administration's "bad deal" with Iran.
The No. 2 Republican in the Senate said Tuesday that "Iran has long thumbed its nose at the international community" and may have violated what he called a one-sided agreement. He says any new agreement "must prevent Iran from obtaining and employing weapons of mass destruction and be subject to congressional scrutiny."
In announcing the withdrawal earlier Tuesday, Trump called it a horrible deal based on a lie.
Trump's decision means Iran's government must now decide whether to follow the U.S. and withdraw or try to salvage what's left of the deal.
French President Emmanuel Macron says his country, Britain and Germany all regretted Trump's decision.
Iran's president is saying there's a "short time" to negotiate with the countries remaining in the nuclear deal, warning his country could start enriching uranium more than ever in the coming weeks.
President Hassan Rouhani (hah-SAHN' roh-HAH'-nee) made the statement Tuesday immediately after President Donald Trump said he was pulling the U.S. out of the nuclear deal.
Rouhani spoke live on Iranian state television. He says he will be sending Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to countries remaining in the accord.
He says, "I have ordered Iran's atomic organization that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before." He says Iran would start this "in the next weeks."
The French president's office says France, Britain and Germany "regret" U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to leave the Iranian nuclear accord, calling it a threat to global efforts to contain nuclear weapons.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the "nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake" because of Trump's announcement Tuesday.
Macron's office says the French president spoke Tuesday evening with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May about the Iran accord and next steps after Trump's decision.
The three European countries negotiated the 2015 deal with the U.S., Russia, China and Iran.
The European powers strongly support the accord as the best way to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions. Trump says it's not tough enough on Iran.
The European Union foreign policy chief says the Iran nuclear agreement is a pillar of international security and she is calling on its signatories to continue to respect it.
The comments by Federica Mogherini came shortly after President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the pact. Mogherini says, "The nuclear deal with Iran is crucial for the security of the region, of Europe and of the entire world."
Mogherini helped supervise the implementation of the 2015 accord. She says she is particularly worried by the announcement of new sanctions.
She says she will consult with Europe's partners about those sanctions suggested by Trump "to assess their implications."
Addressing Iran, Mogherini said: "Do not let anyone dismantle this agreement."
The Trump administration says it will reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran immediately but allow grace periods for businesses to wind down activity so they don't violate the sanctions.
It comes after President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that the U.S. would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
The Treasury Department says there will be "certain 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods" but isn't specifying which sanctions will fall under which timelines. Treasury says at the end of those periods, the sanctions will be in "full effect."
The Treasury Department says that includes secondary sanctions, which punish even non-Americans if they do business with Iran.
National security adviser John Bolton says effective immediately, nobody should sign contracts for new business with Iran.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, is calling the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal "a mistake of historic proportions."
He said Tuesday that breaking the Iran deal increases the danger that Iran will restart its nuclear weapons program, which threatens Israel and "destabilizes the entire Middle East."
Durbin says Trump's action "isolates the United States from the world at a time when we need our allies to come together to address nuclear threats elsewhere, particularly in Korea."
Trump said earlier Tuesday that "great things" can happen for the Iranian people because of the U.S. withdrawal. The Republican president predicted that Iranians would someday "want to make a new and lasting deal" and that "when they do, I am ready, willing and able."
President Donald Trump says "great things" can happen for the Iranian people following his announcement that the U.S. was withdrawing from a global nuclear agreement.
Trump predicted Tuesday that Iranians would someday "want to make a new and lasting deal" and that "when they do, I am ready, willing and able."
He added that a new deal could lead to the "peace and stability we all want in the Middle East."
Trump was speaking from the White House when he denounced the previous Iran deal as "defective at its core."
Despite lobbying from European allies, Trump moved forward with his campaign promise to pull out of the President Barack Obama-era agreement.
The Iranians have been sharply critical of the Republican president's plan to withdraw.
President Donald Trump says the United States is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, which he is calling "defective at its core."
Trump on Tuesday signed a presidential memorandum withdrawing from the 2015 agreement and he is planning to reinstall sanctions on the Iranian regime. He says in an address to the nation that he will be reinstituting the highest level of sanctions and warning any country not to help the Iranian government.
Trump says America "will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail" and will not allow "a regime that chants 'Death to America'" to get access to nuclear weapons.
The president says he made the decision after consulting with U.S. allies.
President Donald Trump is railing against the Iran nuclear agreement as "a horrible, one-sided deal" based on a lie.
Trump's comments Tuesday come as he announces plans to follow through on his campaign threat to pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran during a televised address at the White House.
Trump says that if he allowed the deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race.
He also says a constructive deal could easily have been struck at the time, but it wasn't.
Trump is calling Iran a "regime of great terror."
And he says that "no action taken by the regime has been more dangerous than its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them."