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Trump pulls US out of Iran nuclear deal, will gas prices rise?

14 May 2018

Arguing the nuclear deal wasn't tough enough on Iran, Trump's government is now re-imposing sanctions, and any companies or governments with links to the US face sanctions if they do not comply.

Trade and investment had begun to recover swiftly since the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by Iran, Britain, France, China, Russia, Germany, the USA - and the European Union itself. It was an odd way to describe a dictator who leads one of the most brutal and secretive regimes on earth - a man whose nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, according to Trump and his advisers, pose a grave and unacceptable threat to the United States and its allies.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking in Dublin, declared: "We are stakeholders" and will remain so. The Washington Free Beacon reports that officials are now mulling a proposal from the Security Studies Group-a small think tank founded by veterans of Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy, a hotbed of paranoid and misinformed policy-that advocates the Trump administration adopt a clear policy of regime change in Iran, including support for groups trying to destabilize the government.

Officials are also preparing to move ahead with plans to get Iran fuller access to the EU's lending arm, the European Investment Bank, and to bolster European credit lines for firms with little US exposure wanting to invest in Iran.

The United States will likely re-impose sanctions against Iran after 180 days, unless some other agreement is reached.

On the bearish side some traders believe prices won't move almost as high because of rising USA production and the possibility that other suppliers from within OPEC will step up output in order to counter the Iran disruption.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, which he called "defective at its core". Western foreign ministers were trying to keep in place a United Nations conventional arms embargo on Iran, and they brought up the regime's support for terrorism throughout the Middle East. Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, responded that he could bring American and European governments before The Hague for their support of Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. The Obama administration trusted Iran to make an agreement in good faith, but that trust was misplaced, and the agreement has turned out to be a sham.

But while Pompeo talked up the prospect of renewed coordination with America's allies, another top aide reminded Europe its companies could face sanctions if they continue to do business with the Middle Eastern power. "Now, that will not happen!"

Iran reiterated that no provisions or timeframes in the 2015 agreement "are negotiable in any manner".

Meanwhile, Europeans fear a collapse of the nuclear deal could also deepen conflicts in the Middle East.

Germany's minister for economic affairs, Peter Altmaier, said on Sunday that Berlin would try to "persuade the United States government to change its behavior".

Days after the USA pullout, Israel carried out deadly air strikes on what it said were Iranian targets inside Syria. On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron told Trump in a telephone call that he was anxious about stability in the Middle East, according to Macron's office. A united worldwide front against Iran would cause this rogue state to reconsider its way. But in an interview aired on the ABC program "This Week", Bolton said, "That's not the policy of the administration".

"And I will work closely with the Europeans to try and achieve that".

In the CNN interview, Bolton did not respond directly when asked whether Trump might seek "regime change" in Iran, or whether the US military would be ordered to make a preemptive strike against any Iranian nuclear facility. "He (Trump) makes the decisions and the advice I give him is between us".

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Friday on Europe-1 radio that Europe should not accept that the U.S.is the "world's economic policeman". I am glad to see that we finally have a president who agrees and believes the safety and security of the United States should always come first.

Trump pulls US out of Iran nuclear deal, will gas prices rise?