Iran Deal Hard to Kill, North Korea War Talk Reaches New Level

 

By Paul McLeary with Adam Rawnsley

Keep Iran deal, Euros say. A week after President Trump went to the United Nations to call the nuclear agreement with Iran an “embarrassment to the United States,” European allies are pushing back. Diplomats from France, Germany, the U.K. and the E.U. shared a stage in Washington on Monday to offer their support for the deal, and warn against American efforts to scuttle it.

“‘No way. There won’t be any reopening of the agreement. The agreement is working as it is,” said Gérard Araud, the French ambassador.

Reports have surfaced that Trump will refuse to certify to Congress next month that Iran is in compliance with the deal.

“What kind of signal would this send to countries like North Korea?” German Ambassador Peter Wittig said. “It would send a signal that diplomacy is not reliable, that you can’t trust diplomatic agreements, and that would affect, I believe, our credibility in the West when we’re not honoring an agreement that Iran has not violated.”

No control. Without that European support — and lacking the backing of China and Russia — the Trump administration will have to go it alone in re-introducing sanctions on Iranian oil, and “will be forced to use unilateral measures that would probably prove ineffective at choking Tehran’s economy, former officials, diplomats, and experts say” FP’s Keith Johnson and Dan De Luce write.

Will war of words turn into shooting war? Monday was a big day in war talk. The North Korean government said the U.S. had already declared war and threatened to shoot down U.S. aircraft in international airspace, the White House denied it, and then one of Trump’s top military aides said war is a real possibility.

National security advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, speaking at a conference in Washington, said “what we hope to do is to avoid war with them but we cannot discount that possibility.” But several experts contacted by FP’s Paul McLeary said that when it comes to taking down U.S. aircraft, there’s little chance that North Korea can be successful.

Defensive posture. North Korea appears to have bolstered its defenses along its East Coast, near where U.S. B-1B bombers and F-15s flew over the weekend.

Dunford speaks. All of this will likely be included in the list of questions Senators ask Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford TUesday morning, as he testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in a prescheduled…

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