European diplomats and US analysts predict that Trump would continue to waive sanctions on Iran, but could also take the US closer to non-compliance
The fate of the nuclear deal with Iran will hang in the balance once more on Friday, when Donald Trump must decide whether to continue sanctions relief for Tehran or violate the 2015 agreement.
The secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, told reporters that Trump, who has repeatedly described it as the “worst deal ever”, would make a final decision on Thursday, after an afternoon meeting with his top foreign policy and national security officials, who all favour preserving the agreement.
The genesis of Trump’s particular antipathy to Iran is hard to pin down. Before entering office he had been sceptical of Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia. But during the 2016 election campaign all his closest foreign policy advisors, such as Michael Flynn, shared a worldview that portrays Iran as an uniquely malign actor in the Middle East and beyond. After the election, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were successful in capturing the ear of Trump and his son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner.