European Union to host meeting with Iran on nuclear treaty Thursday

European Union to host meeting with Iran on nuclear treaty Thursday

At a news conference after meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday, representatives of the European Union, the UK, France and Germany reiterated their support for the nuclear deal they helped negotiate.

The deal, in which Iran has slowed its nuclear programme for an easing of sanctions, dates from Barack Obama's administration.

If he does allow the punitive measures to go back into effect, Iran will accuse the United States of breaking the deal, under which Tehran accepted restrictions on its nuclear programme.

Mogherini, the 's top diplomat, says the United States stepping away from a landmark nuclear deal would be counterproductive and insists other disputes with Tehran should be tackled in other ways. European countries are banking on the deal, as many began investing in Iran after the sanctions were lifted.

While former US State Department adviser on Iran Suzanne Maloney explained that Trump's main objection to the deal was not the details, but the fact that the Iranian Regime is a "fundamentally evil entity".

Officials for the Trump Administration spoke to the Associated Press under the condition of anonymity and explained that USA lawmakers had struck a compromise and amended legislation relating to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Their effort to have the U.S. Congress pass legislation to make minor fixes to the JCPOA also makes no sense because Congress can not renegotiate global agreements.

"I am expecting new sanctions on Iran", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Thursday.

US officials and others have said Trump is expected to take the recommendation of senior advisers that he keep the old nuclear-related sanctions in suspension, while announcing new ones that would target other aspects of Iran's behavior, including mass arrests during anti-government protests this month.

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The administration vocally supported street protests this month by Iranians against economic mismanagement and the political system, which led to at least 20 deaths and about 1,000 arrests.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said those who oppose the nuclear agreement should come up with a better solution, "because we haven't seen it so far". The sanctions relief granted under the nuclear deal opened world oil markets to Iran and allowed it to return to worldwide banking systems and trade, a key boost to its battered economy.

What does Mr Trump want to change? "It is also necessary that our US allies do the same and should be seen doing the same", Le Drian said after meeting with his Iranian, British, German and French counterparts.

The US president says he wants to amend the deal - or withdraw from it completely.

"There are many activities outside of the Iran deal, whether it be ballistic missiles, whether it be other issues, that we will continue to sanction that are outside the JCPOA, human rights violations", he said.

Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal are calling on Trump to levy additional sanctions if he chooses to remain in the agreement.

"The proper implementation of the agreement should be accompanied by a strengthened dialogue with Iran on its ballistic program and its regional policy, in order to guarantee better stability in the Middle East", the French presidency said in a statement on the call. They said heated discussions were going on within the administration and with key Republican lawmakers.