European Fears Grow Over Trump's 'Fixing' of Iran Deal

Abbas Araghchi, political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran and the Secretary General of the European Union External Action Service Helga Schmid along with delegates attend E3/EU+3 and Iran talks at Palais Coburg in Vie

European Fears Grow Over Trump's 'Fixing' of Iran Deal

A State Department cable obtained by Reuters last month, however, outlined a path under which the three key European allies would simply commit to try to improve the deal over time in return for Trump keeping the pact alive by renewing US sanctions relief in May.

Reuters reported this week that the "E3" powers will propose a fresh round of European Union sanctions on Tehran that keep the 2015 nuclear accord intact while addressing some of Iran's regional activities and ballistic missile work the us believes were emboldened by the deal itself.

Analysts add that walking away from the deal will not only undermine United States credibility, but validate Iranian claims that the USA can't be trusted and complicate the administration's highest foreign policy priority: getting North Korea to relinquish its nuclear program.

A senior US senator says he believes President Donald Trump will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in May.

The document reportedly spoke of "intensive talks" with Washington to "achieve a clear and lasting reaffirmation of U.S. support for the agreement beyond May 12", according to Reuters. Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said their missile programme is not up for negotiation.

Trump recently chose to extend a waiver on nuclear sanctions that were imposed on Iran but made clear it would be the last time he will do so and ordered European allies and Congress to work with him to fix "the disastrous flaws" in the 2015 deal or Washington would withdraw.

The importance of the meeting grew especially after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sacked for several reasons, including his position on Iran and JCPOA.

Foreign governments are already unsure who is shaping American policy, whom they should contact with questions and requests, and how to handle Trump's often unpredictable, go-it-alone approach to world affairs.

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During President Barack Obama's term, Iranian officials had been vocal about their disappointment with the USA government's lack of diplomatic assurance to global partners about the longevity and permanence of the nuclear deal. Rather than go against his top diplomat's advice, the president got rid of him, making it more likely that he will now pull the USA out of the agreement as early as May 12, the next deadline for him to extend the waiver on the sanctions that are suspended by it.

Trump has long opposed the 2015 deal, which curtails Tehran's development of nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief, partly because his predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, regarded it as a signature achievement.

"The (deal) can perhaps delay Iran's nuclear weapons program for a few years", he wrote at the time. But if Trump is forcing the deal's failure, they will not be a part of it.

As secretary of state, it will fall to Pompeo to certify whether Iran is meeting its nuclear commitments under the deal, as required every 90 days under usa law. However, the president has also proven his willingness to abandon global agreements negotiated by his predecessors and has made clear his opposition to the Iranian government and the deal itself.

According to a report last week in the Axios news website, Trump told Netanyahu that he was demanding "significant changes" to the 2015 accord and vowed to walk away from it unless the European countries fixed it.

Trump and Tillerson had differed publically on major foreign policy issues the U.S. faced, including North Korea and Iran's nuclear deal, which had fueled speculation for months that Tillerson would soon be replaced. The changes the administration is seeking include the indefinite extension of limits on Iran's uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities and an intensified inspections regime.

"The missile dimension, the weaponisation effort, the nuclear component itself".

Analysts say the nuclear agreement, touted at the time as a breakthrough reducing the risk of a devastating wider war in the Middle East, could collapse if Washington pulls out.

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