European Union summit backs Iran nuclear agreement ahead of Trump decision


Also on Monday, Reuters noted that Iranian authorities had declared they would reconsider their cooperation with the IAEA even if the U.S. acted in a purely unilateral fashion to undermine the deal.

"The deal is working, it is delivering on its main goal, which means keeping the Iranian nuclear programme in check", Mogherini noted. The first of those deadlines - for extending or terminating the waiver for the central bank and oil sanctions - is by the far the most significant.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, welcomed backing for the accord, warning Tehran's commitment to the agreement was conditional on full U.S. compliance with the agreement.

In October, Trump declined to certify to Congress that staying in the nuclear deal was in America's interest even though the International Atomic Energy Agency repeatedly has said that Iran has complied with the agreement.

But the European envoys also questioned Iran's foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, over disputes such as the country's missile program and its role in Syria's war as a key ally of President Bashar Assad.

President Trump, who openly despises the deal, is soon to decide whether or not to renew sanctions against Tehran. In previous comments, the AEOI and other Iranian authorities have insisted that they are in a position to not only resume full-scale enrichment but also to do so at a level far above what they had achieved by the time the JCPOA went into effect.

There is also no evidence that the Europeans have the appetite to reopen the deal.

The fate of the nuclear deal with Iran will hang in the balance once more on Friday, when Donald Trump must decide whether to continue sanctions relief for Tehran or violate the 2015 agreement.

'Today, the Iranian people are once again rising up to demand freedom and opportunity, and under President Trump, the United States is standing with them. There were images of a smiling Mr. Zarif, seated among smiling European officials, followed by a parade of statements in favor of the deal.

European countries including France and Italy have benefited from renewed trade with Iran, whose proven natural gas reserves are as vast as Russia's, while Britain reopened its embassy in Tehran following the deal.

Germany, France, Britain and the European Union are "fully aware that Iran's continued compliance [is] conditioned on full compliance by the US", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Twitter following talks in Brussels with his German, French and British counterparts, as well as European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

In July 2015, after a decade of strenuous negotiations, Iran and six major countries - China, Russia, Britain, France, the USA and Germany, struck a final agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear program, in which the West promised to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone with Trump on Thursday, reminding him of France's determination to strictly abide by the treaty and the importance that all parties adhere to it.

A second diplomat said: "The date of the meeting is not a coincidence". Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said: "We should support the Iranian people who are willing to risk their lives".



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