Iran nuclear deal criticised by Trump is working, says EU's Federica Mogherini

12 January, 2018, 13:43 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Trump Faces Pivotal Decisions on Iran Sanctions

The European Union and the foreign ministers of Britain, Germany and France will unite to defend the accord, which curbed Iran's nuclear ambitions in return for the relaxing of punishing sanctions but which US President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticised and threatened to leave.

While hawks in Washington have called for the agreement to be scrapped, British foreign minister Boris Johnson said that so far no one has come up with a better alternative.

The European signatories of the Iran nuclear deal have warned Donald Trump from ditching the accord, arguing that it is essential to maintain global security and is achieving its goals.

On Friday, Mr Trump is set to decide whether to extend relief for Iran from some U.S. economic sanctions.

The decision comes as Iran's government deals with protests over economic hardships and corruption that have been encouraged by Trump.

If the sanction waivers are not extended by the United States, Iran can reactive nuclear program soon, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said on Wednesday. "You either waive the sanctions or you don't and if you don't you're in breach", an anonymous official said.

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Under the agreement, Iran has agreed to dramatically reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium and cut the number of gas centrifuges it operates to produce the nuclear ingredient, with strict limits on other nuclear technologies like heavy water.

The US president has repeatedly referred to the JCPOA as "the worst deal ever" and accused Iran of violating it, despite assurances from global observers that the country is complying.

Mr. Trump faces a January 12 deadline to extend waivers of broad oil and energy sector sanctions that were critical in getting Iran's commitment to the Obama-era accord. "With relief on sanctions from United States and EU, Iran is biding its time, reaping the benefits from the deal and accruing assets until it is free to resume its prolific activities".

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, welcomed backing for the accord, warning Tehran's commitment to the agreement was conditional on full USA compliance with the agreement.

While Mr. Trump already moved in October to "decertify" the accord, The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the president is expected to extend the sanctions waivers, citing progress in bilateral efforts in Congress to push through legislation governing Washington's participation in the deal. A snap-back on sanctions would cause the "dislocation of at least 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian crude oil exports, especially those going to Korea and Japan as well as to some European countries".

Britain's foreign secretary says alongside the pact, Tehran must be pressed on other issues.

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