Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

European powers propose new Iran sanctions to meet Trump ultimatum

European powers propose new Iran sanctions to meet Trump ultimatum

"If some European countries go after imposing non-nuclear sanctions on Iran to appease the U.S. president, they would make a big miscalculation and will see its impact on the deal and its continuation", Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Friday.

As a former Middle East analyst at the State Department, though, I think the real drama of replacing America's top diplomat lies in the foreign policy implications.

The importance of the meeting grew especially after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sacked for several reasons, including his position on Iran and JCPOA.

Foreign governments are already unsure who is shaping American policy, whom they should contact with questions and requests, and how to handle Trump's often unpredictable, go-it-alone approach to world affairs.

US President Trump has to decide, under the law, to whether to continue waiving US nuclear sanctions, or re-impose them, which would potentially kill the deal.

Iran has vowed to oppose any changes to the existing deal. "So I'm not sure that [nixing the Iran deal is] gonna end up having a detrimental effect", he said.

"We stress once more that Russian Federation will not participate in talks between three European countries and the USA and we will not be committed to those countries' agreements and opposes sanctions", Dzhagaryan said in an interview with Tasnim news agency published on Sunday.

"But the Iranians have on multiple occasions been capable of presenting a continued threat through covert efforts to develop their nuclear program along multiple dimensions, right?"

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The president was speaking to friends outside the administration about his frustrations with advisers, Mr Kelly suggested. Several reports recently have indicated that McMaster could be the next top official to leave the White House.

While the European Union retains some sanctions on Iranians over human rights abuses, it rescinded its economic and financial restrictions on Iran in 2016 and does not want to be seen to be reneging on the agreement.

In January, Trump warned that the USA would withdraw from the 2015 pact unless Iran accepts additional nuclear restrictions.

Congressional aides who've worked with him say that Pompeo is a smart guy, level-headed and reasonable.

Mr Kimball suggested it would be foolhardy to pull the plug on the Iran deal in the same month that he was likely to ask the North Koreans to sign up to a similar arrangement.

Under the JCPOA, Iran halted some of its peaceful nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related global sanctions.

European states are considering imposing new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and involvement in Syria.

Iran signed up to limits on its uranium enrichment activity, which it has repeatedly said is for peaceful power generation, not atomic bombs, but has refused to discuss its missiles. Iran maintains that it must have medium-range missiles to defend itself, an argument the Europeans have been sympathetic to.

It might also encourage other countries, namely the UK, France, and Germany, to pull out of the deal as well.

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