DONALD Trump has created a crisis in the Middle East, after he scuppered the Iran nuclear deal, and effectively forbid any other country from working with the government in Tehran.

The President’s decision to welch on the deal that was one of the key foreign policy achievements of his predecessor, Barack Obama, had been expected.

What was unexpected was Trump’s willingness to scorch the earth, imposing the highest level of economic sanctions.

That means European companies have between 90 and 180 days to wind down their operations in Iran, or risk being penalised by the American banking system.

It also makes conflict more likely.

“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” Trump said at the White House.

“It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”

The deal had forced Iran to give up its secret nuclear programme, and in return America and Europe scrapped sanctions that had crippled the country’s economy.

And in a rare, almost unique sign of international co-operation, it had been backed by the US, the UK, the EU, France, Germany, China and Russia.

But Trump has always hated the deal, describing it as “terrible,” “really sad,” and “one of the dumbest and most dangerous misjudgements ever entered into in the history of our country.”

He’d been itching to scrap it since his his election.

For most of his first year in office, the President’s advisers had warned him about the consequences of violating the agreement.

The tycoon initially listened to those cautionary voices, before then sacking them and replacing them with supporters who told him yes.

Trump’s announcement puts America’s relations with European allies into deep uncertainty.

In recent weeks, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, and Angela Merkel had all pleaded with Trump to think again, telling him to fix or amend the deal rather than scrap it all together.

On Monday Boris Johnson even made a last gasp appeal to the President, using an appearance on Trump’s favourite TV show, Fox and Friends.

He suggested the billionaire would win a Nobel Peace Prize if he could resist his hawkish urges and keep the accord intact. But it was all for nothing.

Last night, President Macron tweeted: “France, Germany and the United Kingdom regret the US decision to get out of the Iranian nuclear deal. The international regime against nuclear proliferation is at stake.”

For Trump, the problem was that the deal contained a “sunset clause” which would have seen the restrictions on the nuclear program come to an end after a decade.

After 15 years, Iran would be able to produce as much fuel as it wanted – though never for the purpose of making weapons.

He also hated the handing over of millions of dollars worth of assets that had been frozen when sanctions had first been imposed when details of Iran’s nuclear programme became public.

Trump also believed Iran was breaking the spirit of the agreement through its development of ballistic missiles, its support Bashar Al Assad’s Syrian regime, for Hezbollah, and for Hamas.

He also said the deal did not permit inspections of military sites, though that was disputed, Trump said he had to pull out because the accord could not stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon “under the decaying and rotten structure of the current deal.”

“The Iran deal is defective at its core,” he said.

For the Americans, back in 2015, the agreement had been about avoiding conflict.

Obama said there were two ways to stop Iran getting a the bomb: “Either Iran getting a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through negotiation or it is resolved through force, through war.

“Those are the options.”

It was not perfect, but by the terms agreed, it seemed to be working.

“As of today, I can state that Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments,” General Yukiya Amano, the director of the nuclear watchdog IAEA said in March this year.

There had been some violations.

In 2016 Iran twice exceeded that amount of heavy water in nuclear reactors it could have. Though they came clean about this to IAEA inspectors and then promptly shut down that reactor.

When the sanctions were first introduced, Iran’s currency lost two-thirds of its value against the US dollar and caused inflation to rise to more than 40%. That in turn saw ordinary Iranians suffer, with prices of basic foodstuffs and fuel soaring.

Hassan Rouhani, former Glasgow Caledonian University student, was elected President on the back of a promise to “resolve” the sanctions.

“I said it is good for centrifuges to operate, but it is also important that the country operates as well and the wheels of industry are turning,” Rouhani said at the time.

However, the expected economic revival from ending sanctions hasn’t been that great.

That’s given hard-liners fuel to argue for a resumption of the uranium enrichment and plutonium production programme.

But Rouhani has, in recent days, been more pragmatic: “If we can get what we want from a deal without America, then Iran will continue to remain committed to the deal,” he said.

But Trump’s statement had made salvaging agreement even more unlikely.

Last night there were fears over escalating tensions in region.

The Israel Defence Forces instructed local authorities on the occupied Golan Heights to open public bomb shelters.