With Few Options, Iran And Europe Try To Save Nuclear Deal

The deal between Iran and six world powers lifted most global sanctions in 2016 in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme, under strict surveillance by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, to stockpile enriched uranium for an atomic bomb.

Trump's announcement last week that he was withdrawing the United States from the landmark Iran deal inflamed regional tensions and threw European investments from oil to aerospace into jeopardy.

Foreign ministers from the UK, France and Germany are due to sit down with their Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss how to move forward. France's foreign minister said Friday he had asked for exemptions or longer grace periods for the exit of French companies such as oil-and-gas giant Total SA and auto maker Peugeot SA that have returned to the Iranian market since the 2015 nuclear accord. Instead, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have all expressed their intention to keep the nuclear deal in force.

The US has threatened sanctions against any countries or companies continuing to do business with Iran, which has gone over poorly in European capitals.

He is gauging worldwide readiness to guarantee Iran's interests if it decides to remain in the nuclear pact a week after President Donald Trump announced that the United States was walking away from the JCPOA, which he described as a awful deal.

As Iran's largest trade partner, China's imports increased by 25.2 percent to US$18.85bn previous year, while exports to Tehran also rose by 21 percent.

Despite the USA exit, Britain and Iran expressed their commitment on Sunday to ensuring that the accord is upheld, according to a statement released by British Prime Minister Theresa May's office.

In the CNN interview, Bolton did not respond directly when asked whether Trump might seek "regime change" in Iran, or whether the USA military would be ordered to make a pre-emptive strike against any Iranian nuclear facility.

Sure, there is hysterical talk about "bringing Iran to its knees" - but that would require a unified alliance and a revival of worldwide sanctions, both of which are made more hard, if not impossible, by Trump's decision.

It's true that European powers tried to save the JCPOA by proposing a package that addressed Trump's concerns about the agreement.

"I want to stress we are under no illusion about the stuff Iran gets up to in the region, in the Middle East".

They include retaliatory sanctions, allowing the European Investment Bank to invest directly in Iran and coordinating euro-denominated credit lines from European governments. The European Union is also making a move to block the possibility of U.S. sanctions against European companies.

Two days after President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran deal, the Israeli military bombed dozens of Iran-linked military facilities in Syria.

Iran's full compliance with its obligations under the agreement has been acknowledged by the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as the United States intelligence community, the UNSC and Trump's own top advisers, Rice pointed out: it has relinquished 97% of its enriched uranium stockpile, dismantled 2/3 of its centrifuges (uranium processing machines) and its entire plutonium facility. "He is hopeful we can continue strong cooperation". "I think that will sink in, and we'll see what happens then".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that Tehran would remain committed to its 2015 nuclear deal if its interests were protected. The IAEA has, since the agreement, verified that Iran is abiding by its commitments as has also been done by United States and other intelligence agencies.

Johnson also called on Washington "to avoid any actions that could prevent the remaining parties to the agreement from meeting their commitments under the deal - including delivering sanctions relief through legitimate trade".

"We are going to put together a coalition that pushes back against not only Iran's nuclear program - which they still deny".

  • Zachary Reyes