Published: Fri, June 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Former UN official: Iran may be only ‘six months’ from nuclear bomb

Former UN official: Iran may be only ‘six months’ from nuclear bomb

I don't want that'.

"There's always a chance".

Although EU leaders were bitterly angered by Trump's pullout from the nuclear deal, the U.S. president said and Macron did not have differences on how to handle Iran.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, the President said he intends to hold discussions with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to deescalate tensions between Iran and the US. Later, he added, "I would much rather talk".

Tehran has threatened to restart its nuclear programme after the Trump administration backed out of the nuclear deal signed with the Obama White House.

Japan has backed the nuclear accord, initially reached between Iran and six other countries - the United States, France, the U.K., Germany, Russia and China - in 2015.

Trump insisted that Washington had no differences with his European allies over Iran saying that France also did not want Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.

The war of words intensified after Iran's revolutionary guards were designated a "terrorist organization", with Tehran hitting back by declaring the USA a "state sponsor of terrorism" and Washington's forces in the region "terrorist groups".

Heinonen criticized the way in which the UN's global agency, charged with monitoring compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), is handling the threat and ignoring Tehran's race to procure nuclear weapons.

The US also has accused Iran of being behind a string of incidents, including the alleged sabotage of oil tankers near the UAE coast and a rocket that landed near the US Embassy in Baghdad. "We can turn that around very quickly but the sanctions have been extraordinary", he said. Trump subsequently embraced this idea, pointing to Abe's relationship with Iran's leaders and, simultaneously, dialing back his "regime change" objective and suggesting that the United States can find a modus vivendi with the "existing leaders".

The Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei vowed to "resist" the United States until it retreats, insisting that his nation isn't seeking war with the American people.

Iran was "extremely hostile when I first came into office", he said. Iran's concern is that the Trump administration might be bluffing with its recent olive branches and could use a "failed" Abe's mission to its advantage by painting Iran, reeling under US sanctions, as rigid and inflexible. Accusing Tehran of "championing terrorism" across the Middle East, President Trump added Iran was failing as a nation following tough sanctions imposed by the Republican.

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