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Trump announcement on Iran nuclear deal imminent

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US President Donald Trump is expected to announce Tuesday whether he will scrap a 2015 nuclear deal designed to put limits on Iran's nuclear programmes.

In this May 5, 2018 photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion on tax reform at Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Trump says he will announce his decision on whether to keep the U.S. in the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Washington (dpa) – US President Donald Trump is expected to announce
Tuesday whether he will scrap a 2015 nuclear deal designed to put
limits on Iran’s nuclear programmes.

France, Germany and Britain have launched a diplomatic offensive in
recent weeks to try to persuade Trump not to scuttle the deal, which
aims to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. But French
President Emmanuel Macron has already said their efforts may have
failed.

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani, who has staked considerable
political capital on keeping Iran in the deal, on Tuesday prepared
Iranians for the US’ possible withdrawal.

Iran had sought a “win-win” situation for all, he said. There may be
difficulties early on, but “we will overcome them,” he added

Trump was to make his announcement at the White House at 2 pm (1800
GMT).

Sealed by Trump’s predecessor, president Barack Obama – with the
support of China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain – the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) eased sanctions on Tehran in
exchange for commitments to halt what Western powers feared was a
nuclear weapons programme.

Trump said he opposed the agreement during the 2016 presidential
campaign and, in office, has repeatedly threatened to pull the US out
of the pact, last week calling it a “horrible deal.”

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Monday that there was
currently no viable alternative to the Iran deal.

“Plan B does not seem, to me, to be particularly well-developed at
this stage,” he told broadcaster Fox News, said to be one of Trump’s
favourite channels, prior to a meeting with US Vice President Mike
Pence.

If the deal was scrapped, Johnson said, “you have to answer the
question, ‘What next?’ What if the Iranians do rush for a nuclear
weapon?”

The French and German foreign ministers pleaded with the US to uphold
the agreement after the two of them met in Berlin on Monday.

There were “no alternatives” to the nuclear restrictions that Tehran
had accepted, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

– dpa