Rather depressingly for all those who wish peace upon the Middle East, United States President Donald Trump has predictably announced that he is pulling out of the deal that his predecessor, Mr Barack Obama, reached with Iran on curtailing its nuclear programme. That he did so against the considered advice of close allies Britain and France - aside from a slew of others that signed the deal, including Germany, China and Russia - is consistent with the unilateralist pose that he has struck on foreign policy since taking office. It is a posture often tilted to the predilections of countries he favours, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. The world now has to live with the consequences.
Mr Trump says the deal, under which Iran froze all nuclear development activity and shrunk its centrifuges in return for the lifting of sanctions, was "defective at its core". He risks going it alone since other signatories to the 2015 accord have said that they remain committed to the deal which they clinched after a decade's negotiations. Iran, too, says it will stick with the agreement and will restart uranium enrichment only if it fails to salvage it. This week, it will sit down with France, Britain and Germany to see how this can be done. Meanwhile, oil prices have risen to three-year highs on the prospects of Iranian supplies being choked by sanctions, no doubt gladdening its regional rival Saudi Arabia.
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