Donald Trump withdrew the United States from former President Barack Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran because he believed the Middle Eastern nation was already violating the agreement. And this week, Iran proved Trump right — and wiped away whatever was left of Obama’s legacy in the meantime.
According to Al Jazeera, Iran just removed all limits on its nuclear research and development, green-lighting “whatever is needed” to get the nation’s nuclear program up and running again.
The End of an Era
Even though the United States was no longer a part of the deal, Obama’s 2015 agreement with Iran was still in full effect as far as the other countries who signed on were concerned. But Iran figuratively spit in their faces this week by removing the limits on nuclear R&D.
The countries still active in the deal include China, France, the U.K., Russia, Germany, and the EU. The United States already has crippling sanctions in place against Iran, and with this latest revalation, the rest of the signatories are expected to follow suit.
The Third Step
The removal of the R&D caps marks the third violation, or “third step,” in Iran’s plan to revitalize its nuclear program.
The first step was removing the 300 kg limit on enriched uranium supplies, followed by the removal of the strict limit on the purity of the nation’s uranium supply.
With the R&D restrictions now removed, Iran will have completed the third full step in its plan. It will also have just about shredded whatever was left of Obama’s legacy from his time in office.
According to reports, Iran is making these moves in an effort to get European countries to contribute economically to Iran. For its part, France has already offered Iran a credit line of $15 billion as long as Iran reverts back to complying with the original deal, but Iran has not responded to the offer as of yet.
In what appears to be a gesture of good faith, the Iranians have meanwhile released seven members of the Stena Impero on humanitarian grounds.
The Stena Impero is a British-flagged ship that was seized several weeks ago by the Iranians in the Strait of Hormuz.
There are still 16 members of the crew, as well as the ship itself, in Iranian custody. Still, it seems Iran is taking the first step toward opening lines of communication with the U.K.
Will the U.S. be next?