Trump's Iran move reminds some of run-up to Iraq war

Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran

Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran

US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that his country was withdrawing from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran.

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Iranians burn US flags and make-shift Israeli flags during demonstration outside the former USA embassy headquarters in the capital Tehran, May 9, 2018.

While Iran's arch foes in Israel and Saudi Arabia welcomed Trump's decision, signatories to the deal vowed to plough ahead without the US.

Liberals defended the deal as imperfect but the only viable way of at least delaying Iran's development of nuclear weapons without resorting to war. "We expect the rest of the global community to continue to do its part to guarantee that it continues to be implemented", she said.

In a show of European alliance, Britain, France and Germany released a joint statement, pledging to remain in the 2015 agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying the USA decision was a matter of "regret and concern".

Many Iranians are deeply concerned about how Mr Trump's decision could affect the already struggling economy. "There's an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still there".

After the flag burning, parliament speaker Ali Larijani said responsibility for saving the deal fell on the European Union and other world powers still in the accord.

European firms doing business in Iran have a six-month deadline to wind up investments, or risk United States sanctions, Trump's hawkish adviser John Bolton said, while ruling out talk of reconsideration.

But Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to praise Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the agreement.

Khamenei questioned whether Europe had the will or the ability to save the nuclear deal.

Bolton assured readers that when it comes to North Korean and Iranian nuclear proliferation, "The president prefers to handle these issues diplomatically".

Under the deal signed by former President Barack Obama, five other world powers and Iran, sanctions were lifted in exchange for Iran's willingness to curtail its nuclear program.

In a joint statement, Germany's Angela Merkel, Britain's Theresa May and France's Emmanuel Macron voiced their "regret and concern" at Trump's decision.

The clash between the camps has played out in parliament, on social media and in the press since Trump announced an end to USA participation in the agreement Tuesday.

If one listens to the critics of Trump's decision to pull out of the deal, "one might think that Iran has been acting responsibly for the last three years" and "that Obama left the Middle East a bright and lovely place, not a hellhole filled with human carnage bought with dollars spent by Iran but funneled through the United States", said Ben Shapiro on The Daily Wire.

"We can not prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement", he claimed.

In Iran, the supreme leader wrote on Twitter, "U.S. pres.'s shallow & ludicrous behavior wasn't unexpected".

If Iran does not immediately restart enriching uranium, "it is treason against our nation", said Seyed Nasser Mousavi Largani, a hard-line parliamentarian and former Revolutionary Guard member, the Fars News Agency reported.

"The body of this man, Trump, will turn to ashes and become the food of the worms and ants, while the Islamic Republic continues to stand", Khamenei said.

He also hinted at nuclear enrichment but in a capacity for energy use: "Nuclear energy is a necessity for the country; according to experts, in the next few years the country will need 20K megawatts of nuclear-generated electricity made by nuclear plants".

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