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G7 summit in Quebec to discuss Trump’s withdrawal from Iranian nuclear deal

On Tuesday May 8, US President Donald Trump announced the United States was withdrawing from the “defective at its core” Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

What will be among the key issues discussed at the upcoming G7 summit in Quebec?

Agence France-Presse reports, “President Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull the US out of the Iranian nuclear deal is expected to be front and centre at the June 8-9 summit in La Malbaie of leaders of the world’s seven largest industrialised nations – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.”

Al Jazeera has explained, “Under the deal signed in Vienna with six world powers – the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union – Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons. In exchange, international sanctions were lifted, allowing it to sell its oil and gas worldwide. …The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly confirmed that Tehran has been meeting its nuclear commitments fully. …Thomas Countryman, former US assistant secretary of state who helped negotiate the deal, said withdrawing from the agreement would further thrust the Middle East into the path of instability.”

Three G7 countries – France, Germany and the United Kingdom – have all expressed their “regret” that Trump has pulled out of this agreement. The European Union is also a member of the G7. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says Trump’s decision shows that the United States “no longer wants to co-operate with other parts in the world.”

The Guardian adds, “When Trump announced he was pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal he said the US was also reimposing sanctions, including on any entity that continued to trade with Iran, in effect threatening billions of euros of European business. …[The French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Yves] Le Drian has already described the US extraterritorial sanctions as unacceptable, saying European business should not be required to pay for US foreign policy decisions.”

Earlier this week, the Canadian Press reported, “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has delivered a thinly veiled rebuke to the Trump administration and Israel over their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, setting the stage for a divisive G7 summit next month. Trudeau said he regrets President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 agreement that was negotiated by the world’s major powers.”

And Rolling Stone reports, “A bipartisan coalition of over 100 national security veterans, a group of more than 90 atomic scientists and scores of other experts [also called on Trump to remain in the agreement].”

That article adds, “By axing the deal, Trump is allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapons program now – not in 10 or 15 years – expediting a potential arms race. On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who praised Trump’s decision, told CNN that if Iran resumes its nuclear weapons program, Saudi Arabia will try to match them. …On Thursday morning, [Iran] launched 20 missiles at Israel’s position in Golan Heights [then] Israeli jets attacked a number of Iranian targets in Syria [killing 23 people].”

Today, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a suspension of “all hostile acts” in the region.

Another foreign policy issue may dominate discussions at the G7 talks. On June 12, just days after the June 8-9 G7 summit, Trump is scheduled to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Yesterday, Trump tweeted, “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!”