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Wednesday
May092018

Can the Iran nuclear deal survive without the US?

The Trump White House, predictably, and against advice from Germany, France and the UK, has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal. This effectively reimposes economic sanctions on Iran and pressures other partners in the deal not to do business there. So far, Iran's government has indicated it may not withdraw from the deal. However, if sanctions force it to do so, Iran could start enriching uranium to at least “weapons usable” if not “weapons grade” level. But is Trump’s accusation that the nuclear deal was “the worst ever” and the Mattis claim that Iran “is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world” really what’s behind the US withdrawal? Iran’s sworn enemy in the region is Saudi Arabia. Weakening Iran by reimposing sanctions when the country is already struggling economically, is in Saudi Arabia’s political interests. The US views the Saudi Kingdom as a strong ally -- despite the fact that most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis -- and supports the Saudis’ relentless bombing campaign of starved civilians in Yemen. The Saudis are our friends, and they are our friends to the tune of tens of billions of dollars flowing from Saudi Arabia to the US in arms deals.This could all be another case of “follow the money.” More