Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Iran-EU nuclear talks start in Brussels

Iran-EU nuclear talks start in Brussels

At a meeting in Brussels on Thursday Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign affairs chief, said the bloc - as well as Britain, Germany, and France who signed the deal independently - were united in wanting to "ensure full and continued implementation" of the programme.

The European Union and Tehran are expected to show support for Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers at a foreign ministers' meeting on January 11 while the White House is deciding whether to continue backing the agreement.

He further said that Paris is determined to implement the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers- US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.

In that big October speech, the president refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal, telling Congress that the sanctions relief to Iran was greater than the advantages to US national security.

A decision not to waive sanctions may deal a fatal blow to the Iran nuclear deal by putting the violation of the worldwide nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Khamenei has blamed Trump, along with Israel, the Iraqi Kurds, and Iranian dissidents, for widespread protests in Iran this month.

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France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian directly urged the U.S. to stay on track with its commitment to the landmark deal.

The sanctions, which were suspended in 2016, had cut Iran's central bank out of the global financial system and imposed penalties for buying Iranian oil. Iran's supreme leader blamed foreign influence for the protest.

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.

Mr Trump said they included the deal's "sunset clauses", one of which allows for the lifting of restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment programme after 2025. Mr Straw detected a "pretty high degree of questioning about where Iran goes", he told the Guardian newspaper.

US officials and others familiar with the administration's deliberations told The Associated Press that Trump is likely to back the accord for now but that he may pair his decision with new, targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people.

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The agency's ability to ensure that compliance, through a strict regimen of inspections, is considered critical to the survival of the accord, which is meant to ensure that Iran's nuclear activities remain peaceful.

Tehran has repeatedly vowed to continue building up its ballistic missile arsenal, one of the biggest in the Middle East, saying it is for defence purposes only.

"It's been more than a year that the USA president has sought to destroy the JCPOA with all his efforts", said Aragchi, speaking at the Tehran Security Conference.

He added that he does not think anyone has come up with a better alternative to the Iranian nuclear deal.

"Salehi said that in case the US 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.

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The next deadline for Trump to waive sanctions falls on Friday.

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