Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Feinstein: Abandoning Nuclear Agreement Would Undermine Iranian Protestors

Feinstein: Abandoning Nuclear Agreement Would Undermine Iranian Protestors

According to a statement of the EU's external service, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini "will convene a meeting with Ministers of Foreign Affairs of E3 countries - France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, and the UK Boris Johnson - and Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif on Thursday 11 January in Brussels".

President Donald Trump is expected to announce this week whether the USA will remain committed to the Iran nuclear pact, the abandonment of which could trigger a diplomatic crisis and jolt oil markets.

The EU and other world powers have repeatedly warned it would be a mistake for anyone to abandon the deal, thrashed out with Iran over 12 years by the US, Britain, France, China, Germany and Russian Federation.

US State Department announced Tuesday that the Trump administration will announce its decision to whether or not waive anti-Iran sanctions under the 2015 nuclear deal on Friday.

Zarif tweeted that the Brussels meeting had shown a "strong consensus" that Iran was complying with the pact, had the right to enjoy its economic benefits and "any move that undermines (it) is unacceptable".

There is broad global support for all signatories to the JCPOA to remain committed to keeping Iran from restarting nuclear enrichment.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said that no better option had been put forward to prevent Iran from constructing nuclear weapons.

The recent popular protests in Iran have captured President Trump's attention and injected a new level of uncertainty into the process.

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In any event, the White House is likely to impose new sanctions on Iran over human right abuses and support for foreign extremist groups rather than nuclear back-sliding. In particular there is sympathy with the United States push to end the deal's "sunset clauses", which phase out restrictions on Iranian activities in the next decade.

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 Trump administration has publicly backed those protesting against the Islamic Republic over the past 10 days, and last week sanctioned five ballistic missile-related companies in Iran.

Donald Trump has of deadline of tomorrow to decide whether he will reimpose sanctions suspended under the 2015 deal.

What does Mr Trump want to change?

"Salehi said that in case the USA fails to honor its commitments under the Iran nuclear deal, Iran will adopt measures that can affect the current trend of Iran's cooperation with the agency", the Iranian report said.

Critics of the deal in Congress have also proposed amending legislation to ensure that United States sanctions would "snap back" automatically if Iran carried out certain actions.

At a meeting hosted in Brussels by European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on January 11, European powers that helped to negotiate the accord were expected to reassure Iran that they remain committed to it.

Discussing Iran's wider behaviour, Le Drian reiterated that European governments were open to pressing Iran on its missile programme and regional activities but that this must happen separately from the nuclear accord.

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