Iran taking world ‘for a ride’ as Russia and China eye new partner to expand influence

GB News: Alex Phillips says 'we need to talk about Iran'

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Iran reentered negotiations with the US and other global players this week to revive the nuclear agreement to limit its sensitive activities and the production of nuclear weapons. But GB News presenter and former British MEP Alex Phillips warned Tehran’s decision to re-enter talks could lead to Western countries being “taken for a ride” as Russia and China consider a potential partnership with Iran. The GB News host said: “The original deal was designed to straitjacket the rogue state, and while hardly regarded as a perfect solution, it was hoped it could buy time and space for the West to rebuild a more positive relationship with Iran.

“But are we being taken for a ride? Wanting to U-turn on the strident decision of Trump to tear up the previous deal, talks have been resurrected in the hope that Tehran will play ball.

“Russia and China, keen to snuggle up to new allies in the Middle East since America’s shock retraction from the region, want to reopen dialogues for commercial bilateral reasons as Iran commits to a strategy of looking East.

“Europeans meanwhile are largely hopeful a belligerent Iran can be pacified, to stave off the threat of direct military action as the only remaining option if Iran continues to move towards creating a nuclear bomb.”

Ms Phillips continued: “

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Many insiders believe an emboldened Tehran has managed to enrich enough uranium to now be a shocking month away from building a bomb.

“Jerusalem, who has for years conducted clandestine operations, assassinating leading scientists and attempting to sabotage Iranian nuclear developments through cyber warfare, have said they would resort to military action at repeated threats from Tehran that they want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

“Then you have Iran’s other neighbours, such as Saudi Arabia, also saying it would start tooling up with WMD if Iran develops an apocalyptic arsenal, leading observers to fear a middle eastern arms race. Pretty horrifying stuff.

“Yet Iran’s economy has been ravaged by the sanctions and desperately needs global commerce to help alleviate hard times at home.”

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Iran’s top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani insisted the United States and its Western allies should offer guarantees to Iran that no new sanctions would be imposed on it in the future.

Speaking to Reuters after the first meeting of the parties remaining to the deal in five months, Mr Kani said all the parties in the meeting had agreed that the focus of the talks should be the lifting of sanctions.

The United States was not party to those discussions as Iran has refused to hold direct negotiations with Washington, whose delegation is at a nearby hotel.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Washington’s objective is to have Tehran return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal struck by former President Barack Obama.

Indirect talks between the United States and Iran resumed in Vienna on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 agreement that had lifted sanctions in return for restrictions on Iran’s atomic activities.

Mr Trump had also re-imposed debilitating sanctions, after which Tehran progressively expanded its nuclear work.

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