US President Donald Trump has extended the national emergency with respect to Iran that was declared on March 15, 1995, according to his letter to the US House of Representatives speaker and the Senate President.
In recent weeks, Tillerson's deputies have worked to hammer out an arrangement with European allies that could preserve the deal while addressing Trump's concerns about its shortcomings, including Iran's ballistic missile arsenal and provisions that expire in the next decade and beyond.
"This will require a "soft exit" that would secure American agreement to delay enforcement of secondary US sanctions so European and other worldwide companies could continue trading with and investing in Iran without the threat of their losing the American market", the article said.
It is unclear how Mike Pompeo becoming USA secretary of state may affect the Iran nuclear deal.
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Former U.S. officials and serving European officials were at a loss to gauge how the switch would affect negotiations between the United States and three European powers - Britain, France and Germany - that are also parties to the agreement. The US president also threatened to withdraw the US from the agreement if it is not amended. Earlier this year, the President waived sanctions to give our lawmakers and our allies time to act.
The crux of the July 2015 pact between Iran and six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - was that Iran would restrict its nuclear program in return for relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy.
President Trump has opposed the deal from the start, and is demanding broad changes to the already negotiated pact.
Former U.S. officials suggested that, as the administration nears a planned summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about Pyongyang's nuclear program, it could rethink its stance on the Iran deal. It lifts sanctions placed on Iran in exchange for Iran abandoning its nuclear weapon ambitions. But analysts said European banks and other firms are already reluctant to do business in Iran due to the threat of a possible "snap-back" of USA sanctions and don't want to lose their access to the vast American market.
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In Washington, Democrats in Congress and retired diplomats voiced concern that the collapse of the Iran deal could undermine high-stakes talks planned for May between Trump and North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong Un, by calling into question if Washington would stand by its global commitments.
Other European officials and former US officials said Pompeo's rise, if he is confirmed as secretary of state by the Senate, might have a more ambiguous effect on the negotiations and that, in any case, Trump's views are paramount. Trump cited Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's support for the deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a reason for the top diplomat's surprise sacking Tuesday.
In the past two months, the four nations have held two talks. Under that scenario, the United States - and Israel - may decide to take military action to prevent Iran from obtaining the bomb or at least slow down a bid for nuclear-tipped missiles.
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