from The Washington Free Beacon:
Iran in Panic Mode, Scrambles to Save Nuclear Deal
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.
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.
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.