EU Defends Iran Nuclear Pact, Stays Silent on Deadly Clampdown

  • EU Defends Iran Nuclear Pact, Stays Silent on Deadly Clampdown

EU Defends Iran Nuclear Pact, Stays Silent on Deadly Clampdown

At a meeting in Brussels on Thursday Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign affairs chief, said the bloc - as well as Britain, Germany, and France who signed the deal independently - were united in wanting to "ensure full and continued implementation" of the programme.

With Tehran and US allies in Europe stepping up pressure to preserve the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord, President Trump appears poised to back away from a threat to pull America out of the deal, opting instead for new, albeit more targeted, sanctions against Iranian officials and entities.

Trump is expected to decide any day now whether to continue suspending USA sanctions on Iran's oil exports as part of the deal which reduced economic pressure on the Islamic Republic in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

Johnson said: "The UK has always been clear: the Iran nuclear deal is a crucial agreement that makes the world safer".

The European Union and Britain, Germany and France - which all played a key role in the hard-fought accord - once again closed ranks to back the deal, which curbed Iran's nuclear ambitions in return for the relaxing of punishing sanctions.

Iran has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, leading the Islamic Republic to imprison thousands of people.

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.

"The deal is working, it is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear programme in check and under close surveillance", Mogherini said after the end of the meeting. "Iran is fully complying with the commitments made under the agreement".

"We would argue differently", Ibsen adds, suggesting that the Iran deal is "a temporary stopgap measure to the threat posed by the regime's nuclear vision".

"Any move that undermines JCPOA is unacceptable", he said in a post on his official Twitter feed. European countries are banking on the deal, as many began investing in Iran after the sanctions were lifted. The State Department said on Tuesday the Trump administration was expected to decide on Friday.

Trump and his top advisers have been negotiating with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to try to change sanctions legislation so that he does not face a deadline on whether to waive the sanctions every 90 days.

Iran, which on Monday warned the world to get ready for Washington abandoning the deal, has said if the USA walks away from the agreement it is ready to give an "appropriate and heavy response".

But he will also use the meeting to raise the issue of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual-national consular cases with Tehran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.