Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

Iran warns world to prepare for U.S. nuke deal withdrawal

EU to Host Meeting with Iran on Nuclear Treaty Thursday Will Trump kill the Iran nuclear deal this week? China better watch out
Lisa Bryan | 14 January, 2018, 00:42

In 2015, Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as Iran nuclear agreement with the United States and other five world powers; Russia, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who hosted Thursday's meeting, said that unity "is essential to preserve a deal that is working, that is making the world safer, and preventing a potential nuclear arms race in the region".

President Donald Trump is expected to announce this week whether the US will remain committed to the Iran nuclear pact, the abandonment of which could trigger a diplomatic crisis and jolt oil markets.

Europe and Iran put on a united front over the 2015 accord on freezing the country's nuclear programme on Thursday, warning the USA against a decision to supper the deal.

Trump faces deadlines related to the deal starting late this week, including deciding whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the 2015 agreement.

But Europe also signaled its opposition to the Trump administration over the 2015 nuclear deal, which ended most global sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program.

Zarif denied reports that the talks would focus on the recent protests in Iran that claimed 21 lives, saying such claims were "baseless and unfounded".

"Congress' main goal now is to fix the key flaws of the Iran nuclear deal; to that end, I'm drafting legislation to do so and, as we work on this matter, we must be dedicated to permanently preventing, not just delaying, Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state", Roskam said, criticizing what he described as weaker efforts being pushed by his colleagues.

"We understand well that why the West, especially the United States, are pursuing Iranophobia", Iranian defence minister Amir Hatami said, adding: "This is a total American story that says for the progress of America's economy, staging wars is inevitable".


The agreement was put in place through a United Nations Security Council resolution with monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has certified that Iran is complying with its responsibilities that include limiting its enrichment of uranium and dismantling equipment. The president's national security team has been supportive of the protests and is now faced with the challenge of convincing the president that it is still worth signing off on allowing the regime to sell its oil and conduct financial transactions free of USA sanctions. "We have ample authorities to hold accountable those who commit violence against protesters, contribute to censorship, or steal from the people of Iran", department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said last week.

Officials from major world powers and Iran meet roughly every three to four months to assess implementation of the deal, which is monitored by the world's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

By the end of the business day on Friday, Trump must once again decide whether to extend or cancel the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Discussing Iran's wider behaviour, Le Drian reiterated that European governments were open to pressing Iran on its missile programme and regional activities but that this must happen separately from the nuclear accord.

Instead, Trump threatened to "terminate" the deal if Congress didn't make changes, such as addressing Iran's ballistic missile program, which the agreement does not cover, or the expiration of certain limits on Iran's nuclear program.

"The US administration will definitely regret it", he said on state television.

He added that he does not think anyone has come up with a better alternative to the Iranian nuclear deal.

"The protests reinforce the administration's view that the Iranian regime is an odious, expansionist and destructive force in the Middle East", Dubowitz said.

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