Iran warns new European Union sanctions will 'directly' affect nuclear deal

Frederick Owens
March 18, 2018

Araqchi's comments were in reaction to a Reuters report that Britain, France and Germany have proposed fresh European Union sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles and its role in Syria's war to try to persuade Washington to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

Speaking about the US policies towards the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad said that the US President Donald Trump, who strongly opposed the deal, has always sought to "destroy the JCPOA".

The two sides would talk about the removal of sanctions on Iran as well as the examples of violations of the deal by Washington.

Any new European sanctions against Iran will have a direct effect on the nuclear deal struck between world powers and Tehran, Iran's deputy foreign minister said Friday, according to state media.

US President Donald Trump said in January that the 2015 deal between Iran and major powers must be "fixed" by May 12 or the United States will walk away, likely ending the accord.

"European countries ought to keep pushing the USA to fulfill its obligations under the deal", he added, speaking before leaving Vienna for Tehran. Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said their missile program is not up for negotiation.

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Iran, of course, doesn't have a nuclear weapons program, and didn't have such a program for years before the deal was made.

"There is a lot we agree on and where we disagree we are working to bridge our differences", Hook said.

Iran, which according to the United Nations atomic watchdog has been abiding by the deal since it came into force in January 2016, has ruled out any changes to the agreement.

Trump delivered an ultimatum to the European signatories on January 12.

Trump has threatened to pull out of the agreement unless European allies help "fix" it with a follow-up accord. Following the session, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi reportedly held a separate meeting with the USA delegation.

Trump's decision this week to replace Tillerson with Mike Pompeo as secretary of state has been widely seen as another bad omen for the agreement.

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