Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump Iran Decision Due As Allies Plea For Nuclear Deal

Trump Iran Decision Due As Allies Plea For Nuclear Deal

French President Emmanuel Macron has stressed France's commitment to the Iran nuclear deal and called the talks between Seoul and Pyongyang a positive step in a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, the Elysee Palace said in statement late on Thursday.

Earlier, European powers urged Mr Trump to uphold that agreement, saying it was vital for global security.

The U.S. not only would defy other members of the United Nations Security Council, which backed the deal, it could hand Iran a pretext to start limiting U.N. inspections or restart its nuclear program.

"We agree on this approach, we want to protect (the deal) against every possible decision that might undermine it", Germany's Sigmar Gabriel said alongside his French and British counterparts and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini after meeting Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The Iranian said there was a "strong consensus in Brussels today" that Iran was complying with the deal and that "any move that undermines (the agreement) is unacceptable".

Trump's choice comes at a delicate time for Iran's government, which faced protests over economic hardships and corruption that are linked to frustration among younger Iranians who hoped to see more benefits from the lifting of sanctions.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Thursday that he expected Trump to impose new sanctions on Iran, without addressing what he would decide on the nuclear deal's sanctions.

Why does Europe back the nuclear deal?

The EU's foreign policy chief on Thursday voiced their determination to ensure that the nuclear deal with Iran continues to go forward. "The Iran nuclear deal makes the world safer". He urged all parties to remain faithful to implementing of the deal.

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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said those who oppose the nuclear agreement should come up with a better solution, "because we haven't seen it so far".

He described the deal, which is known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a "considerable diplomatic accomplishment".

What does Mr Trump want to change?

"The administration is continuing to work with Congress and with our allies to address those flaws".

European leaders queued to beg Trump to renew the sanctions relief that Washington agreed to in the accord, which Trump has denounced as one of the worst of all time.

Another proposal would require snapback if Iran refuses a request from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s atomic watchdog, to inspect a military site not now being monitored.

The deadlines for a number of these waivers to be renewed will fall over the coming week, and Trump now is obliged to decide whether or not to maintain sanctions relief.

The sanctions, which were suspended in 2016, had cut Iran's central bank out of the worldwide financial system and imposed penalties for buying Iranian oil.

Why is Iran's missile programme controversial?

"There's a great deal of criticism of the deal ever since it's been struck that the deal is a poor deal for the United States and that it wouldn't matter whether or not we were in it", he says. With some 3,700 protesters arrested, at least 21 killed in clashes and several sexually assaulted, tortured and executed in prison, this was not the moment to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian regime.

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