Monday, 10 December, 2018

EU To Meet Iran To Back Nuclear Deal In Message To Trump

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at a cabinet meeting in Tehra Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at a cabinet meeting in Tehra
Melinda Barton | 11 January, 2018, 15:34

At a meeting with Iran, Britain, France, and Germany, convened by the EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini, the European powers that helped negotiate the 2015 accord in Vienna will reassure Tehran they remain committed to it.

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, that is preventing a nuclear arms race in the region".

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is to raise Paris' concerns about the deal as well as its ballistic missile program while also seeking to keep dialogue open with Iran, a spokesman told journalists.

In a statement released before the start of the meeting in Brussels, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, called the nuclear deal "a crucial agreement that makes the world safer".

Any U.S. disruption to the deal could shake oil markets, according to a report by Citigroup's global commodities team published Tuesday.

The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany threw their weight behind the pact limiting Iran's nuclear ambitions and insisted that the Islamic Republic is respecting it. Trump is expected to decide by Friday whether to extend the sanctions relief or re-impose the restrictions his predecessor, President Barack Obama, suspended two years ago.

With the deadline looming on Saturday, three months after the decertification of the deal by the White House last October, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Mr Trump "is expected this week to extend relief from economic sanctions to Iran as part of the nuclear deal, citing progress in amending United States legislation that governs Washington's participation". "It is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check and under close surveillance", Mogherini said after the talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. "IAEA has verified Iran's full compliance, but continuation will depend on full United States compliance", he wrote.

Iran's atomic energy agency said on Wednesday that reimposition of sanctions on Iran by the U.S. would violate the nuclear deal and that Tehran would likely respond by increasing its enrichment of uranium. JCPOA is the official name for the deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif attends a EU3-Iran meeting at EEAS headquarters in Brussels on Thursday Jan. 11, 2018.