Germany to US: Call out Iran but Keep Nuclear Deal

Win McNamee-Getty Images North America—AFP

When the last deadline came, the president refused to certify Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement which left the issue of sanctions unsettled.

Iran signed the accord in 2015 with six world powers, agreeing to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of many worldwide sanctions.

"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. Trump is expected to announce his decision Friday. The suspension is part of the landmark deal agreed between Iran and six world powers under Barack Obama's administration, which saw an easing of sanctions in exchange for Iran's curbing of its nuclear program.

Javadanfan said that even if the USA imposes sanctions, "it's not at all certain that Iran will re-start its nuclear enrichment program because they won't want to lose European trading partners". USA officials told CNN that the President's top national security advisers are encouraging him to renew the waivers.

"The resistance of the Europeans [against the US] will show whether the nuclear agreement can be carried forward or not", Zarif said. "Now Trump has seen young Iranians on the street calling for something that at least parallels that, he may push back on the course of prudence, which would be to give the deal another three months", she added. The White House has said in a statement that Trump has yet to decide on how to act.

European countries have benefited from renewed trade with Iran as sanctions have been lifted, while US companies are still largely barred from doing business with the Islamic Republic due to other sanctions unrelated to the nuclear issue. Some argue the European Union proponents of the agreement are hypocritically undermining their own defense of the Tehran government when they defend the nuclear deal but criticize the regime for the "unacceptable loss of human life" and denial of "fundamental rights".

The latest efforts involve a legislative push that would preserve the nuclear deal not only in the short term, but limit the ability of Trump and future presidents to ever exit the deal.

Deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said world powers should be ready for a possible United States withdrawal from the deal. Mr Straw detected a "pretty high degree of questioning about where Iran goes", he told the Guardian newspaper.

"In the event we are not able to reach a solution, working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated".

"The United States will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime's malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses", Mnuchin said.

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This time, the president's decision will be influenced by whether or not he is satisfied by a proposed legislative fix to a law written by Sens. Any agreement, Corker said, would take several more weeks to work out.

White House and congressional officials believe that if they can demonstrate some sort of progress on a new bill it will convince Trump waive key sanctions on entities such as Iran's Central Bank, which funds the Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC.

Aides involved in the process said that their goal now is to have strong enough language ready for a proposed bill that would be sufficient enough to provide National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with the ability to ask for Congress to have more time to finalize the legislation. "They could do something", he said. "What I can tell you is that we have all received our instructions".

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

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi warned that any withdrawal by the United States would prompt an "appropriate and heavy response" from Iran.

Europeans want to save the deal.

"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.

The agreement does not stop countries from imposing non-nuclear related sanctions on Iran.

The assumption has been that the deal could, technically, stand if the USA left. "If we can't improve it, we must not be afraid of walking away from this flawed nuclear deal".

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