We Need Regime Change in Iran

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis right listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Wednesday Jan. 10 2018 in Washington

In July 2015, after a decade of strenuous negotiations, Iran and six major countries - China, Russia, Britain, France, the United States and Germany, struck a final agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear program, in which the West promised to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

In part as a face-saving measure, Mr Trump imposed new sanctions that target 14 Iranian individuals and entities, including the head of the Iranian judiciary, Sadeq Larijani, whose brother is the speaker of parliament.

The prospect of a U.S. withdrawal from the Iran deal "will deliver a very serious blow to the whole system of global agreements and to the enhancing of the nuclear nonproliferation regime", he added. After working with the House, the Senate bill was rolled into the law signed by President Trump in August 2017, Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which included actions against North Korea and Russian Federation as well as Iran.

Under the JCPOA, the president of the United States is required to renew the waivers for U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Trump also faces a deadline Friday to say whether he will "certify" to Congress that Iran is complying with the deal and that it remains in USA interests to adhere to it. Trump declined to make that certification in October, throwing the deal into limbo but not breaking it outright.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, took to Twitter to describe Trump's decision and the announcement as "desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement". Trump has complained that numerous Iranian restrictions expire next decade and has vacillated between talk of toughening the deal and pulling the USA out entirely. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also noted that no one has put forward a plan that might be as effective in curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions.

But Mr Trump was fiercely critical of the deal during his election campaign, and refused to certify it in October. He effectively gave them a deadline of 120 days, the next time he'd have to decide under American law on whether to waive sanctions.

That balance is aimed at satisfying Trump's demand to raise pressure on Iran, while not embarking on a frontal assault on the most central trade-offs of the nuclear agreement.

Gabriel called on Washington to separate the Iranian nuclear deal from other issues, stressing that Europe and the U.S. should confront Iran in regards to its missiles program and role in the Syrian war.

He also wanted to extend legislation to make explicit that testing of long-range missiles was "inseparable" from the nuclear weapons programme, so Iran's ballistics testing should also "be subject to severe sanctions". "We are cutting off the regime's money flows to terrorists", the president said in the statement.

Russian Federation - one of the parties to the Iran pact alongside the United States, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union - called Trump's comments "extremely negative".

"Russia will do everything in its power to save the agreement", he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's top foreign policy adviser reportedly met with senior security officials in Israel, telling them that Berlin wants to see the Iran nuclear deal preserved, but is prepared to work with Israel to counter Tehran in other spheres. It also could hand Iran a pretext to start limiting United Nations inspections or restart its nuclear program.

"My policy is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon - not just for 10 years, but forever", Trump said.

The EU said it would hold internal consultations and was "committed to the continued full and effective implementation" of the deal.

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