Decision on nuclear deal with Iran

US President Donald Trump is due to announce by mid-May whether the US will exit the nuclear deal with Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu last week accused Iran of lying when it signed the nuclear agreement and of planning to reactivate its nuclear weapons programme at a later date. Commentators examine the various players' interests.

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Novoye Vremya (UA) /

Putin benefits most

One country in particular would benefit from the uncertainty resulting from a cancellation of the Iranian nuclear agreement, journalist Ivan Yakovyna writes in Novoye Vremya:

“One consequence is well known: oil prices would go through the roof. They're already going up like crazy. The oil dealers know that if supplies from the Persian Gulf Region stop, the world will have one-third less oil. That will bring about a huge deficit and a spike in prices. But who stands to benefit from this? All other fuel suppliers - first and foremost Russia. If the price of oil doubled or tripled, Putin's regime could continue in power for another 20 years or so. Sometimes it looks to me as if Moscow were paying Trump to at the very least threaten Iran.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

The various interests at play in Iran

The protagonists of the dispute over the nuclear deal are all motivated by different interests, writes US correspondent Federico Rampini in La Repubblica:

“Trump is aligning himself with Israel because for many years this has been an article of faith of the Republican right (including the religious component, the Protestant fundamentalists). Netanyahu is focussing on a foreign policy crisis because scandals at home are putting him under pressure. ... And the Europeans are mainly interested in the possibility of being able to do business with Iran once more - especially since many German, French and Italian companies had put down roots there in better times.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Unintentionally making the case for nuclear deal

With his presentation of alleged evidence against Iran Netanyahu is only underlining the fact that the nuclear deal with Iran works, posits The Irish Times:

“In reality, the presentation had an intended audience of one. Trump must decide by May 12th whether to continue to waive statutory sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal. ... Netanyahu's performance appears to have been a final push to persuade the US president to abandon a deal he has long opposed. But by appearing to underline that Iran has discontinued its weapons programme since signing the deal, Netanyahu has made a strong case for keeping faith with it.”

Milliyet (TR) /

Attack Iran to establish Kurdistan

The US and Israel plan to attack Iran in order to create a Kurdish state, the pro-government daily Milliyet suspects:

“Israel and Trump have understood that they aren't getting the desired results from the Syria war. With the Astana talks, Turkey, Russia and Iran have found a way to extinguish (for the time being) the regional fire with which a Kurdish state was to be forged on parts of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran . ... Netanyahu believes the only way he can ignite this fire is by bombing Iran. All his efforts, including the most recent spectacle, are aimed at achieving this goal. The Israeli and American warmongers want to see the birth of a new state lodged between Turkey, ... Iran and Israel.”

Die Welt (DE) /

The deal was inadequate in any case

For Die Welt the revelations show that critics of the nuclear deal were on the right track:

“The agreement has serious flaws. And if the Europeans want to preserve it, they must offer the Trump government more than trite clichés. Iran must be forced to reveal its military nuclear activities in their entirety, including in the time period that is not covered by archive documents. The expiry date for limitations on Iran's nuclear programme must be rescinded. And the programme for developing long-range missiles - an integral part of Iran's efforts to build up a nuclear arsenal - must be stopped. Israel's revelations provide a lever for abrogating and renegotiating the deal. The Europeans should not let this chance for a better agreement go unused.”

Der Standard (AT) /

A special show for just one spectator

Netanyahu's big show of presenting alleged evidence is bearing fruit, Der Standard observes:

“The presentation of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, the prelude to which was sneered at even in Israel, was in fact addressed to just one person. Netanyahu knew how to counter the danger of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel wielding influence over Donald Trump with something special. They had tried during their visits to convince Trump not to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran on May 12. Trump is without doubt susceptible to such theatrics. Whether there really is anything new to see in terms of content is for the experts to judge”

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El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Israel isn't seeking peace

The Trump-Netanyahu axis will wreak havoc, El Periódico de Catalunya fears:

“Israel, the country that invented the doctrine of nuclear ambiguity (it doesn't know, it won't answer any questions about its arsenal and it won't let international inspectors get anywhere near its nuclear facilities), has accused Iran of developing a secret nuclear programme and lying to the international community. ... With his denouncement, which he has actually been repeating for years, Netanyahu is not aiming for world peace or to banish the danger of a nuclear escalation. ... Everything indicates that Trump will decide to cancel the nuclear deal, which would put the region in an uncertain and very dangerous scenario. The Trump-Netanyahu axis is a global destabilisation factor.”

Habertürk (TR) /

Suits the US just fine

Netanyahu's statements will certainly come in handy for Washington, Habertürk believes:

“It's not about whether Iran betrayed or violated the deal. The hawks and the enemies of Iran in the US never accepted the agreement anyway. Trump has described it as the worst deal ever signed. Ever since he came to power the US's Middle East policy has revolved around the concerns of the Arab Gulf states and Israel aimed at breaking Iran's grip on regional power. That's why it is to be expected that Trump will withdraw his signature on May 12.”

Ukrayinska Pravda (UA) /

Syria will feel the consequences

As well as leaving Iran isolated once more Israel's move will further exacerbate the situation in Syria, political scientist Kostyantin Matviyenko writes in Ukrayinska Pravda:

“In two weeks the US president is to decide whether on the basis of the nuclear agreement the majority of sanctions against Iran should be lifted for another six months. ... The publishing of this archive will almost certainly lead to the revocation of the treaty, giving Iran the status of an isolated country once more, with far-reaching consequences. ... Above all the situation in Syria - where the possibility of Iran backing the Assad regime together with Russia will be significantly reduced - stands to deteriorate.”