USA vs Iran

When it comes to saving Iran’s nuclear deal, Europe finds itself in the impossible situation of trying to salvage an accord unraveling because of the maximalist U.S. sanctions campaign. Since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord over a year ago, a slow fuse has burned through Iran. At first, it appeared Iranian officials thought they might be able to wait out Trump. They spoke about “strategic patience” as the U.S. 2020 presidential election loomed. That talk faded as U.S. sanctions choked off Iran’s vital crude oil sales abroad and then began targeting its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and officials including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Soon, the talk changed to “strategic action” and making threats to the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial global oil supply point. That action has seen Iran break the limit put on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. President Hassan Rouhani says that starting Sunday, Iran will begin enriching uranium to “any level we think is necessary and we need.” Those steps combined could see Iran narrow the one-year window it needs in order to have enough material ready to potentially build a nuclear weapon, something Iran denies it wants to do but the atomic accord prevented. To Iran, the only people who now can prevent further escalation in the crisis are in Europe. Among the parties to the deal are Britain, France and Germany, while the European Union also has aided in the diplomacy. In public…

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