02:21 GMT29 March 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Iran will likely avoid taking steps towards making a nuclear weapon that could provide the United States with a pretext to launch a military attack, former US National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, Paul Pillar, told Sputnik.

    Earlier in the day, one year after the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran announced that it had discontinued some of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and gave other parties 60 days to ensure Iran’s interests were protected, or see the country resuming higher levels of uranium enrichment.

    "Iran may exceed JCPOA limits during the months ahead but is unlikely to take the kind of steps toward making a nuclear weapon that would provide a clearer rationale for a US military attack", Pillar, who is also a former CIA analyst, said on Wednesday.

    READ MORE: US to Resort to Use of Force if Iran Blocks Strait of Hormuz – Ex-CIA Officer

    Hardliners driving US policy at the moment, Pillar added, will look for any excuse to bomb Iran even without clear and major provocation.

    Tehran's move, Pillar added, is a direct result of the Trump administration's reneging on JCPOA commitments, blatant flouting of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, and a yearlong campaign of inflicting economic pain on Iran, despite the fact it has observed its commitments under the deal.

    During the 60-day period, Pillar said, the signatories to the JCPOA must redouble efforts to implement ways for Iran to enjoy the benefits of normal commerce despite US pressure.

    The Europeans have taken some steps in this direction but they have simply have not been enough, Pillar said. "Over the longer term, saving the JCPOA will require the American electorate to turn Trump out of office in 2020", Pillar concluded.

    READ MORE: UK Teen Posed as CIA Chief, Got Hands on US Intelligence in Afghanistan, Iran

    On 8 May 2018, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to leave the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reinstate wide-ranging sanctions on Tehran, including secondary sanctions against companies and financial institutions of countries that do business with the Islamic Republic. Iran, China, Germany, France, Russia, the UK and EU reaffirmed their commitment to the deal after the United States exited.

    Washington also vowed to drive Iran's oil exports down to zero and demanded that other countries stop any such purchases.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    commitments, uranium enrichment, deal, suspension, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Paul Pillar, Iran
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