Trump issues stay of execution for Iran nuclear deal

France's Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian and European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini attend a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar G

While Trump did not levy nuclear sanctions on the regime, the administration is hitting Iran with several other sanctions for its ballistic missile activity and violent crackdown on anti-government protesters in recent weeks. Washington also imposed sanctions on the head of Iran's judiciary and others.

Britain, France, Germany and the European Union united Thursday to call on the United States to protect the Iran nuclear pact.

In July 2015, after a decade of strenuous negotiations, Iran and six major countries - China, Russia, Britain, France, the U.S. and Germany, struck a final agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear program, in which the West promised to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

Describing sanctions against Larijani as "hostile action", the foreign ministry said the move "crossed all the red lines of conduct in the global community".

It did not specify what any retaliation might involve.

Before the anticipated step, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met in Brussels, in the attendance of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

As a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has committed to not building nuclear weapons, even after the restrictions on its program lapse, and it is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Simon Gass, who was the lead United Kingdom negotiator in the deal, said the preservation of the JCPOA was critical for stability in the Middle East and therefore for European security.

Mr Trump often touts his deal-making skills and this tactic appeared created to see if some kind of agreement could be reached to fix what he did not like about the deal.

Trump also wants to make Iran's long-range missile program subject to sanctions under the agreement.

Finally, Trump must resist the temptation to seize on the protests in Iran as an excuse for further undermining the nuclear agreement.

"Our worst expectations are coming true", Ryabkov said Saturday. It has now been almost 90 days since Trump's October 13 decertification, and he is scheduled to report on Iranian compliance and American national security issues once again on Friday. "It's going to be complicated to save the deal after this", said one European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. A second person informed about the plans said arrangements were being made for Tillerson to call his counterparts in France and Germany to relay the decision.

President Donald Trump is expected to continue sanctions waivers that accompanied the accord in a decision to be made later Thursday despite his refusal to certify Iran's compliance with the pact late previous year.

Republican Senator Bob Corker said "significant progress" had been made on bipartisan congressional legislation to "address the flaws in the agreement without violating United States commitments".

Trump laid out conditions to keep Washington in the deal.

But it is not clear that comments from the likes of Qasemi and Ravanchi refer only to the resumption of voluntarily suspended nuclear activities, especially given that they are directed more specifically at the US.

In a surprise move reportedly recommended by top administration officials, President Donald Trump is expected this week to extend the relief of economic sanctions on Iran stemming from the nuclear agreement.

But his senior aides again persuaded him not to dissolve it, as did European allies, who said Iran was still abiding by the terms of the deal and that breaching it would play into the hands of hardliners in the country.

Zarif said there was a "strong consensus" that Iranians have "every right" to all the dividends of the nuclear deal. The other parties to the agreement would have been unlikely to join the United States in reimposing sanctions.



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