Spotlight: Trump's withdrawal from Iran's nuclear deal threatens regional peace, promotes war

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-09 06:42:18|Editor: ZD
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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on May 8, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump said here on Tuesday that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, a landmark agreement signed in 2015. (Xinhua/Ting Shen)

DAMASCUS, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli-backed U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal threatens regional peace and pushes the region to the edge of war, and Israel seems enthused to hit first, analysts say.

Since coming to office, U.S. President Donald Trump was a staunch critic of the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran and repeatedly threatened to withdraw.

His stance was supported by Israel and the Arab Gulf States, all of which share animosity towards Iran and express skepticism over Iran's nuclear program.

The deal was signed in 2015 and ended a set of sanctions that had been imposed on Iran. Under the deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program and accept inspections.

On Tuesday, Trump delivered on his threats and withdrew from the deal, which he described as "a horrible, one-sided deal" and that it "didn't bring peace and never will."

The withdrawal means the United States will re-impose sanctions on Iran amid European opposition to the decision with leaders of Britain, Germany, and France urging the U.S. to refrain from taking action that could prevent the other signatories to the deal from continuing to implement it.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who appeared in a news conference late last month speaking about evidence his government has on Iran's nuclear program, hailed the U.S. announcement and pointed out the tensions over Syria.

Netanyahu charged that Iran was transferring "lethal weaponry" to its forces in Syria "with the purpose of striking at Israel."

"We will respond mightily to any attack on our territory," he warned.

After the U.S. announcement, Israel targeted a Syrian position in the capital Damascus' southern town of Kisweh, and the Syrian army said the Syrian air defenses destroyed the Israeli weapons.

The Saudi-funded Alarabyia TV said the Israelis targeted an Iranian position in Kisweh amid heightened tension and fears of Iranian retaliation after last month's Israeli attack on an Iranian position in the T-4 airbase in Syria's central province of Homs, where Iranians were killed.

Observers believe that Israel has been anticipating an Iranian hit after the T-4 attack, adding that Israel thinks that the Tehran postponed its reaction to the attack at the time to see how the nuclear deal would continue with the repeated U.S. threats.

Hmaidi Abdullah, a Syrian political analyst, told Xinhua that the U.S. move will strengthen the Iranian support to the Syrian government, adding that the U.S. decision will negatively rebound on the U.S. as the Iranian will practice pressure on the U.S. forces in Syria.

He said Trump was against the deal because it did not limit the Iranian influence in the region, and did not include the ballistic missiles program, noting that by withdrawing from the deal "the United States wants to punish Iran to limit its influence and military presence in Syria."

The analyst said that if a war broke out in the region and Syria was one of its arenas, there would be consequences on the U.S. forces in Syria and also Israel.

Esam Hilali, an Iranian journalist in Syria, told Xinhua that he did not expect a wide-scale military showdown between Iran and Israel, saying that Israel will attack Syrian sites, but Iran is ready to confront any aggression.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the U.S. decision to withdraw from Iran's nuclear deal.

It said international reactions that condemned the U.S. withdrawal from the deal prove the "international isolation" of the United States and its mistaken policies that would increase tension in the region and the world.

It added that the U.S. move proves again the lack of credibility and commitment by the U.S. to the international agreements.

The ministry stressed the Syrian government's full solidarity with Iran and voiced confidence in the Iranian ability to surpass the repercussions of the U.S. stance, "which affects the security and stability in the region and the world."


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KEY WORDS: ran nuclear deal