Iran leaders shift focus to defending nuclear deal

14 January, 2018, 00:44 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Win McNamee-Getty Images North America—AFP

The waivers are on the nuclear sanctions the U.S. agreed to lift as part of the 2015 agreement between the U.S., Iran, the European Union, China, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom.

Retired U.S. military officers, members of Congress and former U.S. ambassadors were among 52 U.S. national security experts who signed a letter released on Monday urging President Donald Trump's administration not to jeopardize the worldwide nuclear deal with Iran.

The deal is "a crucial agreement that makes the world safer", British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday (AP).

The EU and other world powers have repeatedly warned it would be a mistake for anyone to abandon the deal, thrashed out with Iran over 12 years by the US, Britain, France, China, Germany and Russian Federation.

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.

Zarif did not join the post-meeting press conference but tweeted: "Strong consensus in Brussels today: 1) Iran is complying with #JCPOA, 2) Iranian people have every right to all its dividends, 3) Any move that undermines JCPOA is unacceptable".

People rally in support of Iranian anti-government protests in Los Angeles on Saturday.

In a gesture to Trump, France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Paris shared Washington's concerns about Iran's ballistic missile programme and involvement in wars in Yemen and Syria, but stressed the nuclear deal should still stand.

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His remarks came ahead of talks in Brussels between ministers from the U.K., France and Germany and their Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.

The agreement requires Iran to curb nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, according to RFE/RL.

Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said that withdrawal by the U.S. would lead to an "appropriate and heavy response", adding that "the United States administration will definitely regret it".

European powers have urged the United States not to abandon the 2015 agreement with Iran that limits its nuclear programme, saying it is making the world safer.

"I have reaffirmed the European Union view that continued implementation of the Iran nuclear deal is a key strategic priority for European security but also for regional and global security", Moghreini said, standing next to Tillerson.

Mr Trump said they included the deal's "sunset clauses", one of which allows for the lifting of restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment programme after 2025. But Mr. Trump warned it remained a possibility.

"We greatly value the nuclear deal with Iran, we think it is a considerable diplomatic accomplishment". The State Department said on Tuesday the Trump administration was expected to decide on Friday.

The top Iranian diplomat said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had verified Iran's commitment to the deal on numerous occasions, but a certain party to the JCPOA had failed to fulfill its commitments under the deal, an apparent reference to the US. The Obama administration considered it a crowning foreign policy achievement that blocked Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

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