Mideast expert says US is now in worse negotiating position with Iran amid sanction threats

Middle East expert Dalia Kaye said in an interview that aired Thursday on "Rising" that the U.S. is in a bad negotiating position with Iran amid recent developments in the multination Iranian nuclear deal. 

"We're in a much, much worse negotiating position right now to get others on board," Kaye, the director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the Rand Corporation, told Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on Wednesday. 

"Frankly, it's not clear why the Iranians would have faith in the United States once we've left this agreement that they count on any new agreement with this administration, given all of the unilateral escalation that has been taking place from Washington," she continued. 

"So I'm pretty skeptical we're likely to get a new agreement. We're two years into this administration's policies of confrontation, we're one year from the U.S. withdraw and we actually see behavior that seems to be moving us backwards," she said. 

"We're seeing new Iranian nuclear activities moving away from the nuclear deal, and we're seeing behavior that is incredibly troubling from Iran across the region," she said. "I'm unfortunately quite pessimistic at the moment." 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani revealed on Wednesday that Iran would pull out of parts of the Obama-era agreement unless other countries agreed to start selling Iranian oil despite the threat of U.S. sanctions within 60 days.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE in recent weeks has escalated pressure on Tehran by ending sanctions waivers for countries buying oil from Iran. 

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it would impose additional sanctions on Tehran "very soon" in response to Rouhani's announcement. 

— Julia Manchester