Trump 'all but decided' to pull out of Iran nuclear deal

Iran remains defiant towards USA -led efforts to make changes to the nuclear deal. It appeared to contradict findings by global inspectors who have found Iran to be in compliance with the nuclear deal signed in 2015.

Iran warned on Thursday that it will quit a landmark nuclear deal with world powers if President Donald Trump pulls the US out of the accord.

He has warned that the U.S. would withdraw completely on 12 May - the next deadline for waiving sanctions - unless European signatories to the deal and Congress addressed his concerns.

Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign policy adviser, said on Thursday that while Iran is committed to the nuclear deal, it will withdraw if any changes are proposed or if Washington rejects.

The United Nations' atomic watchdog previously reported such efforts and said it has "no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009". It claims the country's nuclear programme was more advanced than it indicated at the time.

Johnson defended "verification provisions" in the landmark deal with Iran and "intrusive inspections" by the IAEA as good reasons to keep the agreement in place.

Trump is a stern critic of the nuclear deal, reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, and has repeatedly warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement.

Europe says Bibi's 'atomic archive' pitch proves need for Iran deal
Netanyahu's Iran Nuke Show: Should We Believe Him?

Mr Guterres called on the United States leader not to withdraw from the deal, saying that it risked a real possibility of war if the agreement was not maintained.

One of the main sticking points has to do with the "sunsets", where the United States in effect wishes to find a way to extend some of the limits on Iran's nuclear program beyond their expiration dates under the agreement.

There is a chance Trump might choose to keep the United States in the global pact under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, in part because of "alliance maintenance" with France and to save face for French President Emmanuel Macron, who met Trump last week and urged him to stay in, the source said.

Velayati warned against any attempts to renegotiate in exchange for sanctions relief, saying, "Iran accepts the nuclear agreement as it has been prepared and will not accept adding or removing anything".

Indeed, Trump's constant criticism and demands to "fix" the supposed flaws of the 2015 deal did not fully amend the position of its European signatories - the UK, France and Germany - the leaders of which are against scrapping the agreement.

"I don't know what the U.S. president will decide on May 12", Macron said during a visit to Sydney. Analysts and family members of dual nationals and others detained in Iran say hard-liners in the Islamic Republic's security agencies use the prisoners as bargaining chips in negotiations with the West.

It comes just days after Israel revealed "secret nuclear files" accusing Iran of having covertly pursued nuclear weapons.

  • Jon Douglas