Trump withdraws US from Iran nuclear deal

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said UK, France and Germany support the US’ objectives on the Iran Deal.

But Mnuchin said the US has “slightly different views as to how to execute that.”

The President, he said, has been clear about his thoughts on the deal.

“If Iran is serious, they will sit down and negotiate,” he said. “We’ll see how serious they are. And as it relates to our allies, we’re going to work very closely with them.”

Watch the moment:

Saudi Arabia says it “supports and welcomes” President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Iran deal, and backs his plan to reinstate sanctions on the regime.

Saudi Arabia, in a statement, also said:

The Kingdom reaffirms its support of the strategy previously announced by President Trump towards Iran, and hopes the international community will take a firm and unified stance against the Iranian regime, and its destabilizing aggression in the region, its support to terrorist groups, particularly Hizbollah and the Houthis militias, and its support of the Assad regime—who has committed heinous crimes against its people that led to the death of more than half a million civilians, including through the use of chemical weapons.

A senior State Department official acknowledged to reporters the US did not discuss any “Plan B” with European partners ahead of President Trump’s announcement Tuesday that the US would be pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement.

“We did not talk about a Plan B because we were focused on negotiating a supplemental agreement,” the official said. “So we did not – we did not talk about Plan B.”

The official said that while the US and European partners made a “ton of progress” in attempting to reach a supplemental agreement that would satisfy President Trump ahead of the May 12 waiver deadline, they were not able to resolve the sticking point presented by the sunset issue.

The same official said sanctions would be implemented in two phases with the intention of giving countries and companies time to adjust:

  • Six-months for energy-related sanctions and sanctions ancillary to that (CBI, shipping, etc.), as well as relisting designated companies
  • And 90-days for other Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action sanctions and civil aviation licenses.

All JCPOA-related sanctions waivers are pulled today, including those that were set to expire on July 11, so today is the start of both “wind down” periods.

Two senior State Department officials said talks are ongoing with European allies and the US still hopes to reach a comprehensive deal on countering Iran’s malign activities through a “global effort,” but the officials did not rule out secondary sanctions targeting European companies.

“We do think that, given the (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’) penetration of the Iranian economy and Iran’s behavior in the region, as well as its other nefarious activities, that companies should not do business in Iran,” one of the officials said. “That’s an intended consequence.”

The officials said the US believes the Iran nuclear deal has given Iran room to increase its so-called “malign activities” in the Middle East since it was reached in 2015.

Former vice president Joe Biden speaks to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on November 1, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Biden addressed the consequences of U.S. disengagement from world leadership at the event.

Former Vice President Joe Biden reacted today to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal, calling it “a profound mistake.”

“It will isolate the United States from nearly every major world power,” he said in a statement. “It will…

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