Wednesday, 17 January 2018

World News

Honour Iran Nuclear Deal – Europe Urges Trump

As US President, Donald Trump mulls whether to reimpose sanctions on the country ahead of a Friday deadline, Senior European diplomats have urged the United Stated not to kill off the Iran nuclear deal.

It should be recalled that Trump had vowed to rip up the agreement during his election campaign and has repeatedly referred to it as "the worst deal ever," accusing Iran of violating the "spirit" of the pact. He must sign a series of waivers every few months to maintain the suspension of sanctions on Iran, and to keep the deal fully intact.

After a meeting of European diplomats in Brussels on Thursday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian made a direct appeal to the US to sign the latest waiver, due Friday. He said France remained dedicated to the agreement.

"All parties should uphold the deal," he said, speaking through a translator. "It is also necessary that our US allies do the same and should be seen doing the same," Le Drian said after meeting with his Iranian, British, German and French counterparts.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said there was "strong consensus" on the deal but warned that Iran's continued compliance depended on that of the United States.

The 2015 agreement was brokered by the Obama administration -- along with the UK, Russia, France, Germany and China -- obliging Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the suspension of sanctions that had for years crippled its economy.

Thursday's meeting in Brussels was convened by the European Union chief foreign affairs representative, Federica Mogherini, who said the deal was essential in preventing a nuclear arms race.

"The deal is working, it is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check and under close surveillance," Mogherini said after the meeting. "Iran is fully complying with the commitments made under the agreement."

Zarif said the Iranian people "have every right" to all the "dividends" resulting from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"Any move that undermines JCPOA is unacceptable," he said in a post on his official Twitter feed. He added that the European parties are "fully aware that Iran's continued compliance (is) conditioned on full compliance by the US."