Many believed that he would pull out of the deal, especially seeing as he had been threatening to do so since taking office. However, the European signatories of the deal pleaded with Trump to keep the deal intact and they scrambled to come to a solution that would keep Trump happy. But it was all for nothing.
Since announcing his decision to exit the deal, Trump has warned that the US is going to get tough on Iran. His Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has listed 12 conditions that Iran must meet if relations between the two countries are to improve.
Iran presents a major threat to not just its neighbours in the region, but also to the United States and the international community as a whole. The 2015 nuclear deal did nothing to curb these threats. That is why Pompeo’s demands seem to be attempts to rectify the major flaws of the deal.
The Iranian regime is under pressure internationally and domestically and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seems to have acknowledged that it is in an impossible situation. There are rumours that Afghan militias fighting on Iran’s behalf in Syria are starting to abandon their units. Houthi militia units in Yemen are also being told to withdraw from the Western area of the country.
The Supreme Leader has given the European Union six conditions to meet with regards to the US. He wants the EU to issue resolutions against the US so that Iran’s influence in the Middle East and its ballistic missile program cannot be brought up. He also wants trade to be guaranteed via EU banks and to ensure that it can sell oil without restrictions. He has also asked the EU to recompense its pledges that he feels it has not adhered to and would like it to denounce US sanctions.
His words are desperate but it is understandable given the situation he is in. Already, large enterprises and international companies are pulling out of deals with Iran. Switzerland-based Stadler has put a stop to a wagon construction contract worth over a billion US dollars because of the return of US sanctions.
Knowing that deals with the West are unlikely to go much further, Iranian officials are turning to China and Russia, but there too it is looking dire. Both China and Russia do not want to get involved or make promises.
This is why Iran is trying to create a rift in the international community. It is a tactic that the Iranian regime uses time and time again – create chaos and stick around to take advantage of it. It is a tactic that is becoming increasingly difficult to pull off now that the regime’s true colours have been exposed.