European Union offers support in favour of Iran deal amid USA reticence

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At the advice of his national security team last October, the president stopped short of doing that and instead simply notified Congress that he no longer felt it to be in the national security interest.

That major shift in USA policy put the United States at odds with its European allies, as well as Russian Federation and China that are also signatories to the nuclear accord, in the most visible transatlantic split on foreign policy since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

The Foreign Secretary challenged the United States president to name a "better solution" if he wanted to scrap the agreement while other European Union figures said ending the deal would defy logic.

"In responding to developments in Iran, now and in the future, the USA should be careful not to take any steps that might undermine the JCPOA (nuclear agreement) which remains vital to US national security", it said.

Mr. Kamalvandi's comments came as European powers prepared to meet Thursday to reaffirm their support for the accord.

Kamalvandi said, "If suspension of the sanctions will not be extended, Iran will take the first retaliatory action immediately".

"Killing or sticking with the Iran deal isn't just about Iran".

This opened the door for the resumption of USA sanctions against Iran.

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In sharp contrast to Trump's view that the 2015 pact was "the worst deal ever negotiated", the foreign ministers of the three countries and the EU's top diplomat said there was no alternative to it and that sanctions should remain lifted.

"In responding to developments in Iran, now and in the future, the US should be careful not to take any steps that might undermine the JCPOA, which remains vital to USA national security", said the letter.

US President Donald Trump openly despises the deal - a central foreign policy achievement of his predecessor Barack Obama - but has so far continued to waive the nuclear-related sanctions at regular intervals as required to stay in compliance. Some of those more targeted measures could be leveled against firms and individuals whose sanctions were scrapped in the 2015 accord. "The way you do that is to create the conditions through more pressure and also to regovern the way under which the U.S.is party to the deal and to tighten the conditions for sanctions relief and clarify the path ahead".

"Over the past few weeks, we've witnessed the Iranian people protesting in the streets against their government and its policies".

The State Department has threatened to take punitive action against Iranian officials who engaged in violence and other aggressive tactics to crush the protests.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the global agreement on Iran's nuclear program is working, and that while there are concerns about Iran's development of ballistic missiles and other activities in the Middle East, those should be dealt with as a separate issue.

Mr Trump formally rejected the deal in October, although the United States has not yet pulled out. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) is said to be working with Senate Democrats on new legislation to hold Iran accountable for its ongoing ballistic missile construction and other rogue activities.

"Senator Corker remains engaged in productive discussions with the White House and a number of his colleagues in the Senate about the appropriate path forward, and our allies continue to be updated on relevant developments", the spokesman said.

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