Newspaper headlines: 'The biggest foreign policy gamble'

Donald Trump Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Donald Trump signed a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement

President Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal is "the biggest foreign policy gamble of his presidency" according to the Times.

The Daily Mirror says the president is "sticking two fingers at Europe" by ignoring his allies.

The paper says it is "a tragedy that when calm and rational thought is needed, Donald Trump is a raging bull in a hazardous Middle East china shop."

The New York Times says the president is adept at destroying agreements but lacks the vision and patience to create new ones.

It predicts his decision will "allow Iran to resume a robust nuclear programme, sour relations with close European allies, erode America's credibility, lay conditions for a possible wider war in the Middle East and make it harder to reach a sound agreement with North Korea on its nuclear weapons programme."

But Mr Trump has support from Charles Hurt of the Washington Times. He writes: "Mr Trump is shredding Mr Obama's traitorous deal to fund Iran's global terrorist operation with billions from American taxpayers... It is high time that all the diplomatic 'experts' shut up and try to learn a thing or two from a deal-maker."

Writing for the New Statesman, the author and academic Michael Axworthy calls the decision "an act of diplomatic vandalism" which removes "one of the few anchors for stability in the Middle East".

If the deal collapses, he says, it will be the result of "the greatest outbreak of organised stupidity in international politics in recent memory."

But the Daily Telegraph says that Iran has brought its renewed isolation on itself with its destabilising activities and its interventions in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

Plans that could lead to the prosecution of elderly army veterans who served with British forces in Northern Ireland are highlighted by the Mail and the Times.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Karen Bradley was appointed Northern Ireland secretary in January 2018

"Betrayal of our soldiers" is the headline in the Mail, which says former soldiers now in their 70s and 80s could be hounded by a new unit set up to investigate unsolved murders committed during the conflict.

Both papers say some ministers - including Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson - want a statute of limitations that would amount to an amnesty for Northern Ireland veterans.

Such a time limit has been dropped from the proposals because of opposition from Sinn Fein, the DUP and victims' families.

Members of the House of Lords are taking "an ermine-covered wrecking ball" to Brexit - that is the view of the Conservative Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg, whose outrage at the latest government defeats in the chamber is the front page story in the Daily Express.

In the Daily Mail, Quentin Letts says that having a hereditary peer, the Duke of Wellington, lead a Lords rebellion may not help Remainers.

With every day, he says, the House of Lords looks "ripe for the abattoir".

Image copyright Reuters

The Financial Times reports that a supermarket boss who caused much amusement when he was caught on camera singing We're in the Money is among the Sainsbury's executives who have just exercised stock awards worth a total of £4.5m.

Mike Coupe was filmed in an unguarded moment before a television interview last week about his company's proposed takeover of Asda, which sent the group's stock price soaring.

Sainsbury's has played down suggestions of a vast payday, saying Mr Coupe is not making any immediate profit. But the FT says the timing and size of the sale is likely to raise eyebrows.

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The Mail reports calls for new laws to restrict of the sale of lethal crossbows which it says can be bought in shops or online by anyone over 18, for as little as £25.

Three Labour MPs are supporting the case for tighter controls on the weapons following an investigation by the Northern Echo which found they were easy to obtain.

The Home Office says crossbows are subject to strict controls and but that it will consider whether further measures are needed.