What will be the impact of US exit from Iran deal?

After weeks of speculation, Donald Trump has withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran. The US sanctions that were lifted in the context of the agreement have now been reimposed. Israel and Saudi Arabia have welcomed the decision. While some commentators show understanding for the move, most of them voice concern.

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The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Tehran to blame for escalation

With its conduct in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, Tehran itself provoked the end of the nuclear deal, The Daily Telegraph argues:

“It is this aggressive mindset on the part of Iran's ruling elite that has led to the latest diplomatic confrontation between Washington and Tehran, as Mr Trump detailed in his speech. For how can Washington and the other signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - the agreement's full title - have any faith in the Iranians when the latter's every deed is filled with malign intent? ... Judging by Tehran's recent conduct in the Middle East, the ayatollahs' real intention is to achieve regional domination. And if that is the case, then it is pointless having any deal, whether on nuclear issues or otherwise, that enables the ayatollahs to achieve their goals.”

Der Tagesspiegel (DE) /

New pressure could have positive impact

Der Tagesspiegel calls for a more nuanced view of Trump's move:

“If the pressure leads to a better agreement package the world will be a better place. If the deal collapses because Iran responds to Trump's provocation by no longer keeping its promises the situation will be worse than before. This is where the problems with the debate in Germany begin. There is little evidence of ambivalence so far. Black-and-white thinking is in vogue. ... Trump is ending the nuclear deal, they say. ... And he is a warmonger. ... Trump didn't end diplomacy on Tuesday. He introduced more sanctions instead of reducing them. ... It will be a while before we have a clear idea of the new sanctions and their consequences. That time could be used to renegotiate the agreement. Europe is already in talks with Iran.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Naive hopes for a better deal

Following his withdrawal from the nuclear deal President Trump has no way of stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons, Die Presse criticises:

“There have been sanctions in the past: they were what moved Tehran to agree to the current nuclear deal. However, it is unrealistic to think that new sanctions will lead to a deal that imposes more restrictions on Iran. For part of the regime the concessions made in the past already go too far. And even military force can hardly put a stop to a nuclear programme that is once again going full steam ahead. The only way to do that would be to invade the country. But that would be too great a task even for the US - to say nothing of the humanitarian consequences.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Nuclear arms race is on again

Le Figaro explains the risks an end to the nuclear deal entails:

“If the nuclear deal is now definitively cancelled the future holds two threats: in the short term we can expect a confrontation between Israel and Iran, and in the long term a new global nuclear arms race. In the Middle East Saudi Arabia has already indicated that it won't stand by and watch as Iran proceeds with a new nuclear programme. The atomisation of the world threatens to go hand in hand with its nuclearisation.”

News.bg (BG) /

US president smothering the Iranian opposition

Trump is helping the cause of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, news.bg criticises:

“The regime in Tehran will now seal itself off even more than before. The religious establishment will dominate politics for a long time to come and critical movements will gradually be smothered. An Iran sealed off from the rest of the world in which the ayatollahs possess all the instruments of power means even less Internet and Telegram. Whether he knows it or not, Trump has done Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards a favour. He has ensured that reformatory forces in the country no longer dare do anything any more.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Europe must find an answer to Trump

After the Paris Climate Agreement the Iran deal is the second accord that President Trump has cancelled, De Volkskrant points out, adding that this faces Europe with a decisive question:

“European-American relations have become like Trump himself: changeable and unpredictable. ... Optimists may speculate that the real-estate president's crudeness is only meant to create new negotiating positions aimed at better agreements. Pessimists, however, see a worrying constant in Trump's erratic personality: he continues to firmly believe in America First, and shows little respect for multilateral agreements and cooperation. This, however, clashes fundamentally with Europe's principles. It must now consider what structural response it can give to this.”