Iran regime knows it is in trouble and is in full panic mode
Washington Free Beacon:
The Iranian ruling regime is racing to save the landmark nuclear deal after President Donald Trump bucked European powers and walked away from the agreement with a vow to reimpose a package of harsh sanctions on the Islamic Republic, according to U.S. officials and regional experts who say the hardline regime is scared about losing the sweetheart deal.As my post below on French oil giant Total decision to quit a multi-billion dollar gas deal, it is the companies who are at risk of sanctions if they deal with Iran. They are not willing to risk huge fines to do a deal with the mullahs. While the European governments might like to save a deal with Iran, it is their companies who would bear the risk if they stayed in business with Iran.
Leading Iranian officials have been locked in tense meetings with European countries and former U.S. officials to ensure they continue to uphold the deal and keep doing business with the Islamic Republic.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, one of the country's lead negotiators, held a series of meetings with European Union countries on Tuesday to plead with them about saving the deal and ensuring Tehran remains open for business as the United States tees up a package of sanctions that could cripple Iran's already ailing economy.
European leaders also have been pleading with members of Congress, where they are being met with a cool reception, according to multiple sources familiar with these closed-door talks.
European diplomats are said to be blaming the Obama administration for drumming up business with Iran and telling these allies that they could engage in economic transactions without penalty. The reaction from lawmakers has been unsympathetic, source said, explaining that congressional opponents of the deal long warned these European countries the deal would be subject to harsh scrutiny after President Barack Obama left office.
A State Department official familiar with the progress of new negotiations surrounding the deal said the Trump administration is set on fundamentally changing Iran's behavior, including its buildup on ballistic missiles and support for terrorism, before it agree to any Iranian demands.
"The president has directed his administration to work with nations around the world to create a new coalition to counter Iran’s nuclear and proliferation threats, as well as its support for terrorism, militancy, and asymmetric weapons like ballistic missiles," the official told the Free Beacon. "This coalition will bring all necessary pressure to bear on Iran to change its behavior."
One veteran U.S. adviser close to the White House told the Washington Free Beacon that Iran's reaction indicates its desperation to remain in the Obama-era agreement and continue receiving cash windfalls.
"As President Trump has always said, the Iran deal was great for the mullahs and terrible for the American people," the source said, speaking only on background. "Obama gave Iran more than they could ever have imagined, and now Trump is taking it away. The Iranians are rushing to grab and save whatever they can. Europe will have to choose a side."
Zarif and other Iranian leaders have even looked to former Secretary of State John Kerry in guidance, with Iran's foreign ministry confirming that the country's leaders have been holding shadow diplomatic talks with him.