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Europe licks wounds as Saudi Arabia and Israel trump Trump over Iran



PARIS / DUBAI / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When the Saudi Crown Prince visited France in April, he expressed confidence that President Donald Trump would tear the US out of Iran's nuclear program, which the Riad has long resisted.

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends a meeting in Soho3Q startup incubator in Beijing, China, January 9, 201
8. Photo taken on January 9, 2018. REUTERS / Charles Platiau / File photo

Reply to Reporters In Paris, two weeks after the talks with Trump in Washington, Prince Mohammed bin Salman compared the treaty with the Munich Agreement of 1938, which was thought by the European powers to soothe Nazi Germany, but ended in war.

Where French, German and British diplomatic efforts failed with Trump, Saudi Arabia seems to have been successful.

A source close to Saudi politicians said Washington and Riyadh, Iran's main regional rival, had "discussed the 2015 nuclear deal" for some time before Trump announced on Tuesday that the US would withdraw from the nuclear dispute.

The source said it was "evident" from the Crown Prince's talks with Trump in the White House on March 20 and a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh that there was a "coordination" of positions.

"We were for it and we worked on it," said another Saudi source about Riyadh's diplomacy.

Also celebrating is Israel, another Iranian opponent. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed on April 30 what he called evidence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Most of the alleged evidence that Netanyahu submitted was dated back to the time before the signing of the 2015 agreement, important files on nuclear technology since then, and added to its "nuclear weapons knowledge".

Tehran dismissed Netanyahu as "the boy who called the wolf" and called his presentation propaganda.

Although Israeli officials said they did not know if Trump had been influenced by the information, the President indicated in his announcement on Tuesday.

Netanyahu held talks with Trump in the White House in March, and Israeli diplomats worked harshly behind the scenes to convey their country's views on the deal, which was designed to prevent Tehran from receiving a nuclear bomb, but was considered by its opponents to be flawed has been.

Asked how much of the Israeli ambassador spent in Washington's time to argue against the deal, Deputy Minister of Diplomacy Michael Oren told Reuters, "Ballpark Tip? Something near 90+ (Percent) … This topic is of paramount importance to Netanyahu. "

(Iran's nuclear facilities: tmsnrt.rs/2K9tVRX)

MACRON VISIT WAS" LAST RESORT "[19659016] Trump's announcement was a blow to the French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Both tried to change Trump's thoughts on Iran when visiting the White House in April, and both failed.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson flew to Washington at the last minute, but failed to see the president.

He brought Britain's case into negotiations with Pompeo and in an interview with Fox & Friends on cable channel Fox News, which Trump regularly reviews.

Despite their best efforts, European leaders knew by mid-April that the chances of getting Trump to an atomic deal eased, European diplomats said.

"Macron's visit was the last resort," a European official told Reuters in Brussels, referring to the French head of state's talks with Trump in the White House on April 24.

Describing the last month of diplomacy as "catastrophic." The official said, "For weeks, all the clues of the White House and the Foreign Ministry were:" He's out of business. "

On Wednesday, European allies tried to rescue the nuclear deal and keep their business with Iran.

Trump's message to the Europeans ahead of his announcement was that they needed to find a way to tighten the nuclear deal If the United States should stay in it, sources that were familiar with the discussions said.

He urged for a separate agreement that would go alongside the nuclear deal that would address other US concerns about Iran, such as the program for ballistic missiles, which was not dealt with in the 2015 agreement.

Progress was made in the negotiations, but not enough to influence Trump.

The sources familiar with the debate said that Trump signed a separate agreement with the other main signatories of the original agreement – France, Great Britain, Germany, China and Russia – but Berl In said that the agreement must be submitted for approval by an EU body, and this seemed to block the effort, they said.

Last Friday, Pompeo telephoned German and British foreign ministers and a senior French official that Washington would no longer pursue the process with Europe.

The positions of Europe and the US were too far apart in relation to the so-called sunset clauses, which allowed the Iranian nuclear enrichment program to be repealed. In the middle of last week, European diplomats felt that we were implementing the requests, a European official said.

TRUMPFAN MESSAGES

Some European diplomats believed that a chance to persuade Trump to stay with the deal even before Macron visited Washington.

They saw Pompeo's appointment as a fatal blow in March, and it was soon followed by the arrival of another Iranian hawk in the White House by John Bolton as a National Security Advisor.

Rex Tillerson, the former foreign minister, had seen value in remaining in the deal, as did Secretary of Defense James Mattis. The President reluctantly agreed to extend the deal in April 2017 as an initial extension period approached.

But to the next appointment, last July, Trump was angry at Helper for trying to persuade him to stay with the deal, said a source familiar with the dispute.

"You mean you had three months and you did not do anything?" He told them, the source said.

In October, Trump announced that he would not allow confirmation of US compliance with the US agreement in the United States and launch the United States, which she had reached on Tuesday.

A White House official said that in the days leading up to the president's announcement, top advisers had not aggressively tried to knock Trump out of the retreat because his mind had been invented.

Until then, European officials were discouraged, said a European diplomat.

"We have realized that we need to buy time, and on the eve of the Trump decision, we could only say to the Iranians:" Do not do anything impudent, "said the diplomat.

Letter from Steve Holland and Timothy Heritage; by Robin Emmott in Brussels, Stephen Kalin in Riyadh, Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Elizabeth Piper in London and Marine Pennetier in Paris, arranged by Mike Collett-White


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