Tillerson supported Washington remaining on board with the JCPOA nuclear deal – along with other P5+1 countries Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
Trump wants it unacceptably changed or abandoned. On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted:
“Mr Trump has made habit of being unpredictable and thus unreliable for anybody to engage with. Nobody will be interested in reaching any agreement with the White House if US signature only good for 4-8 yrs.”
Replacing Tillerson with militantly anti-Iran hardliner Pompeo smooths things for Trump to pursue greater hostility toward the Islamic Republic with a key administration official on board with his reckless agenda.
Like the president, secretary of state designee Pompeo opposes the nuclear deal. Tillerson’s sacking likely signals Trump’s intention to abandon the JCPOA ahead.
According to Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi,
“Americans are determined to leave the JCPOA, and changes at the country’s State Department were made in line with this goal, or at least it was one of the reasons,” adding:
“Europeans are walking on the razor’s edge because if they incline towards Trump, they will lose Iran.”
Days earlier, IAEA head Yukiya Amano said
“I can state that Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments…If the JCPOA were to fail, it would be a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism.”
Things are heading in this direction, especially with Pompeo succeeding Tillerson at State.
Things pursued by Washington should terrify everyone. Trump escalated rogue policies his predecessors began – notably waging political, economic and hot wars against multiple countries.
Will Iran be his next target for regime change, beginning by abandoning the JCPOA nuclear deal? What took years of negotiations to conclude, he could scrap with a signature taking moments.
Replacing Tillerson with Pompeo signals likely escalated wars of aggression, stepped up hostility toward Russia and China, perhaps scuttling a Trump/Kim Jong-un summit or structuring it to fail, along with abandoning the Iran nuclear deal and targeting the country for regime change.
Trump won’t re-certify the JCPOA in May unless Britain, France and Germany agree to major changes Iran won’t accept.
According to an unnamed White House official,
“(i)f the Europeans make it clear that what we are asking for is going too far, then we’ll know, but as soon as they say that, Europe is signing the deal’s death warrant,” adding:
“Tillerson wasn’t faithful to the intent of the president. (He) didn’t agree with breaking the Iran deal.”
“Every time the president’s been persuaded to sign these waivers he’s done so begrudgingly. (I)n January he said, ‘this is absolutely the last time.’ Either we fix it or he won’t sign another waiver. ‘I’m not going to sign it unless Iran agrees.’ ”
Changes he demands Tehran finds unacceptable, including:
- unlimited inspections of Iranian sites, including military ones no countries would tolerate;
- the international community on board, ensuring Iran never develops nuclear weapons it abhors, doesn’t want, and calls for eliminating;
- removing the JCPOA’s sunset clause, effective after 10 years;
- restricting Iranian development and testing of ballistic missiles not part of the JCPOA; and
- reimposing nuclear-related sanctions if Tehran fails to fully comply with the above demands.
Clearly they’re unacceptable. Six countries and Iran spent years negotiating the JCPOA.
Tehran won’t tolerate Trump unilaterally demanding changes during the life of the agreement.
As things now stand, Washington will likely walk away, destroying the deal by illegally reimposing nuclear related sanctions.
Along with other US Middle East policies, abandoning the JCPOA risks greater regional turbulence and instability instead of responsibly stepping back from the brink.
Lunatics infesting Washington threaten everyone. Paul Craig Roberts asked “Will Humanity Survive Crazed Washington?”
We’re all threatened with possible extinction by Washington’s megalomaniacal rage for unchallenged hegemony.
I agree with Roberts, saying “you can expect the worst” ahead.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.