Donald Trump has said that the Iran nuclear deal contains “disastrous flaws”
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons
The Iran nuclear deal is hot news as deadline approaches, German conservatives to scupper EU finance plans, Juncker defends Marx, Brexit customs agreement still on, Slovak hails Lux democracy. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Iran deal still up in air
As the May 12 deadline for the United States to take its stance on the Iran nuclear deal draws closer, various media reports show that president Donald Trump has still not made a final decision. Efforts by the UK to convince Trump to keep the United States in the deal were stepped up over the weekend. Citing his hero Winston Churchill, whom Trump is also said to admire, British foreign minister Boris Johnson wrote an op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times urging the president not to scuttle the deal but to work with allies to improve it. “Only Iran would gain from abandoning the restrictions on its nuclear program,” Johnson wrote. Meanwhile, British ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, was interviewed on CBS on Sunday. He said that Trump was “rightly concerned about Iran's regional activities” and acknowledged the president’s concerns that inspections should be tougher. But he reiterated the UK government’s policy that “as long as Iran is in compliance with the deal and wants to stick with it that will be our position as well.” On the other hand, former New York mayor and close Trump ally Rudy Giuliani said on Saturday that the president and new secretary of state Mike Pomeo were “committed to regime change.” Reuters reports that a senior Russian foreign ministry diplomat has said that his country would seek closer ties with Iran of the deal were broken. Without economic sanctions in place Russia “would develop bilateral relations in all areas – energy, transport, high tech, medicine,” Vladimir Yermakov said. But if "The Guardian" reports are true that Trump hired an Israeli private security firm to dig for dirt on senior members of the Obama administration linked to the Iran nuclear deal, then, says the paper’s world affairs editor Julian Borger, it shows how far Trump “and the hawks around him are willing to go to destroy the agreement.”
German conservatives wary of EU finance plans
Leaders of the CDU and CSU parliamentary factions in Germany will urge Angela Merkel’s government to reject EU plans for closer financial union. German business paper Handelsblatt reports that a meeting of the factions of the two conservative parties in Frankfurt on Monday will issue a resolution stating they want no European fiscal policy to be made without national parliamentary control, no pooling of debt and no European finance minister.
Juncker slammed for Marx speech
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker “defied” critics and took a battering in the right-wing press for delivering a speech to commemorate the 200th anniversary of birth of Karl Marx. Politicians from eastern Europe and the United States had urged Juncker not to deliver the speech. But Juncker has never bowed to that sort of pressure and went ahead, a speech Breitbart called a “heartfelt defence” to praise Marx as a philosopher “who thought into the future, had creative aspirations, and today he stands for things which is he not responsible for.”
Brexit job loss warning
British business secretary Greg Clark has warned that “future jobs but also the very important jobs for people today” in the UK could be at risk if the country failed to have some sort of customs partnership with the EU. Speaking on Sunday’s Andrew Marr show, Clark stressed that British firms operating a just-in-time production line who rely on parts from outside the country need a customs deal with “the minimum of frictions.” His stance received praise from the British Chambers of Commerce and the CBI confederation of British industries.
Slovak praise for Luxembourg
Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Andrej Danko has praised Luxembourg for its smart diplomacy. Speaking during a 2-day visit at the end of last week, Danko said: “The thing that we, a young 25-year-old state, should learn from Luxembourg is how they respect and approach legislation and MPs, and how the deputies behave with each other,” said Danko, after visiting Luxembourg's Parliament.