Paris urges tough European Union stance on Tehran to save nuclear deal

Pauline Gross
March 21, 2018

The proposal is allegedly part of an European Union strategy to appease US President Donald Trump and preserve the Iran nuclear deal. USA sanctions will resume unless Trump issues new "waivers" to suspend them on May 12.

President Donald Trump offered new hints he's likely to quit the worldwide agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program next month, potentially scrapping a deal struck by his predecessor that he opposed before taking office and has criticized often since.

In response, France, Britain and Germany have proposed new European Union sanctions targeting Iranians who support Syria's government in that country's civil war and Tehran's ballistic missile programme, according to a confidential document seen by Reuters.

By making sure the new sanctions don't directly contradict the terms of the JCPOA, EU countries are hoping to preserve the nuclear deal and their ties to Iran.

Netanyahu also spoke over the phone with German Foreign Minister Heiku Maas and congratulated him on his new position.

However, Reuters noted that the obtained document expresses concern at "transfers of Iranian missiles and missile technology" to Syria and allies of Tehran, such as Houthi rebels in Yemen and Lebanon's Iran-backed Shi'ite Hezbollah. The first is a "material breach", which constitutes acts that "benefit Iran's nuclear program ... decrease the amount of time required by Iran to achieve a nuclear weapon", or undermine the objective of the agreement, which is to keep Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon.

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Tehran, under pressure from European powers to assuage United States worries about its adherence to the nuclear deal, hit back at the prince.

In January, Trump delivered an ultimatum to the European signatories of the 2015 nuclear accord, which aimed to curb Iran's nuclear program in return for lifting various trade and economic sanctions.

Under the Obama-era deal, President Trump is required to certify every 90 days that Iran is in compliance with the deal as per the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA).

Asked if he believed Trump would pull out on May 12, Mr Corker responded, "I do".

"Right now it doesn't feel like it's going to be extended", Corker said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" program.

Mr Corker, a senior Republican, has frequently clashed with Mr Trump, describing the current White House as "an adult day care centre".

Other reports by GizPress

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